School Board split over how to search for superintendent

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- There is still a clear 5 to 4 divide in the Buffalo School Board.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, that divide became evident in how the Board is searching for a new superintendent. Interim Superintendent Donald Ogilve has indicated he is leaving in July.

Four School Board members took it upon themselves to hold two community meetings this week to get public input in the search for a new Superintendent, but those meetings were never formally approved by the board as a whole.

Board Member Jason McCarthy took issue with that.  “I said it wasn’t right because there’s a certain procedure to follow that the Board has to approve.”

School district staff was torn on whether they should even provide support at those meetings.”What they do after hours is their business. They should not be intimidated or bullied by anyone as to not being able to attend a meeting” said Mary Ruth Morrow-Kapsiak. “But they were directed not to come. That is bullying to the ninth degree.”

“Stop playing the games. There’s a set of rules for one group of people and there’s a set of rules for the other group,” said Board Member Sharon Belton Cottman.

McCarthy lashed back, “You do as you as you please, and you continue to just micro-manage and direct the staff to do what you see fit.”

Kapsiak says this is the kind of tension that existed last year with the hiring of Ogilvie. “A Superintendent was chosen by five people with the exclusion of four others, so now with no transparency wanted by the same five people, they want to again go out and get a superintendent and exclude the same four people. So, where’s the transparency? Where’s the input from the community? Is this a dictatorship?”

“I’m just done,” said McCarthy. “It seems that no matter what you do, whether there’s a policy in place or procedure in place, nobody follows it, and nobody cares.”

One of the community meetings was held on Tuesday night and the next community meeting in the search for a superintendent takes place Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Makowski Early Childhood Center on Jefferson Avenue. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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