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Ken-Ton considers keeping interim superintendent in the job permanently

The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board wants Stephen A. Bovino, its interim superintendent, to continue in the job permanently.

But the board will reconvene a community roundtable, which was formed in January, before making a decision.

The board had to choose a new superintendent when Dawn F. Mirand, the superintendent for 2 1/2 years, retired on Jan. 5, leaving the board with five days notice to fill the position.

Bovino, age 62, agreed to come out of retirement to serve as superintendent. He had only been retired four months as the district's assistant superintendent of human resources. He had worked in the district for 9 1/2 years and previously served as a teacher and administrator in the Williamsville Central School District and as principal of John F. Kennedy High School in Cheektowaga.

"I hadn't considered taking the job," Bovino said of his decision to become superintendent. "But as I started going to the buildings and solving problems, I started to enjoy it."

The board began the search process without considering Bovino, which included hiring a consultant from Erie1 BOCES and conducting a district survey.  More than 600 people responded, mostly parents and instructional staff.

After an hourlong discussion of the survey at a special work session on Tuesday, the board members agreed they may already have the person they were searching for.

Board President Jill Y. O'Malley said the surveys showed a lot of support for Bovino remaining in the position.

Trustee Christopher Paschler referred to the recent school consolidations and staff cuts.

"There is still a lot of change going on," he said. "We need someone with institutional knowledge."

"You lose a year when you hire a new person, and that's a year we don't have to lose," added O'Malley.

Trustee and vice president Andrew Gianni said he also supported Bovino.

Before discussing hiring Bovino, the school board discussed the surveys Tuesday with Nancy Bojanowski, a facilitator from Erie 1 BOCES.

She said meetings in April and May last year were "heart-wrenching" as the board closed schools and laid off 44 teacher aides.

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