BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Voting closed in the Board of Election vote for the Buffalo Public Schools Tuesday night, with 13 candidates on the ballot.
The three candidates who came out on top are Larry Quinn, Patti Bowers Pierce, and Barbara Seals Nevergold. Quinn and Bowers Pierce are new to the board, while Seals Nevergold is a returning member. Each will serve a five-year term.
“With the potential to have brand new board members come in, it changes the dynamics a bit on the board and it does create some kind of instability until we can get to a point where we’re working together,” said Seals Nevergold.
The elections could eventually determine the fate of Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown, which may be the first issue facing the school board.
Brown kept her job last fall on a 5-4 board vote. Seals Nevergold supports keeping Brown, but Bowers Pierce supports terminating Brown, as does Quinn. The newly elected members are expected to shift the majority on the board.
Bowers Pierce said, “I took a stance early on in my campaign and I said I felt that Pamela Brown should be replaced and I still feel that way today because I truly believe that the district deserves to have a highly effective leader and one that will bring the district together, the school board together, and will always have the best interests of the children and student achievement at the heart of their goal.”
News 4 spoke to Quinn Tuesday night about his first steps on the board will be. He said, “We have to do something very, very different to help these kids, and I really want to take the next few months to develop a plan. I’m going to be contacting the other members and we’re going to have two months to implement some things.”
Quinn says he has already spoken to Sam Radford, president of the District Parent Coordinating Council, who is frequently at odds with the board over what Radford says is the district’s reluctance to work with parents to help resolve problems in Buffalo schools.
Patti Bowers Pierce said one of her goals is to be more inclusive with parents, teacher and other stakeholders, and Quinn echoed that sentiment.
“I’ve always seen the parents, they put them in the peanut gallery, and they don’t let them participate. I’m going to move right away, and I think Patti will support me and others will, to give the District Parents Council a seat at the board just like the union has a seat at the board,” he said.
The newly elected members will join the board on July 1.