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Where in the World Is Vivian Evans? An update

As usual, the whereabouts of East District member Vivian O. Evans was the subject of some interest during Wednesday night's Buffalo Board of Education meeting.

Vivian Evans You might recall that Evans informed the board two months ago that she had accepted a job in Maryland, but planned to retain her seat on the board, back home in Buffalo. She said she would fly back every two weeks to attend the meetings.

Three weeks ago, we reported that out of five recent board sessions, Evans had missed two; been late for two; and been on time for one.

Wednesday night, Evans never showed up.

But this time, the majority of the board went on record refusing to excuse her absence.

Those voting to officially excuse Evans' absence: Mary Ruth Kapsiak (Central District) and Florence Johnson (at large).

Those voting not to excuse her absence: Pamela Cahill (Ferry District), Christopher Jacobs (at large), Jason McCarthy (North District), Louis Petrucci (Park District) and Ralph Hernandez (West District).

There was little discussion among board members about Evans' situation. Cahill was the only board member to comment specifically on the vote, saying: "No, I'm not going to accept someone living in another state."

A few minutes later, in a somewhat oblique reference to Evans, Cahill complained about what she dubbed a lack of ethics and integrity of late, including voting on "whether a board member should be here or not." She said she's been taking calls from some of Evans' constituents, because Evans is not around to take them.

Kapsiak responded, saying board members sometimes take calls from constituents whose board representatives are in town. "So we should be very careful when we start talking about taking calls from families," she told Cahill.

For the record: The board on Wednesday also took a vote on whether to excuse the absence of John Licata, an at-large board member. The result? A unanimous "yes" vote, 7-0.

- Mary Pasciak

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee |

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes |

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone |

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB |