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Friday's school closings

Schools reported closed Friday, Dec. 3, due to weather:

Allegany-Limestone Central School
Ambrose Catholic Academy, South Buffalo
Annunciation School, Elma
Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School, South Buffalo
Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School
Buffalo Catholic elementary schools
Buffalo Public Schools
Buffalo Seminary
Buffalo United Charter School
Canisius High School
Center Road Christian Academy, Cheektowaga
Cheektowaga-Sloan Schools
Community Charter School
Depew Public Schools
East Aurora Montessori School
Elmwood Village Charter School
Elmwood-Franklin School
Enterprise Charter School
Erie 1 BOCES, Potter Center
Erie 1 BOCES, Service Center
Fourteen Holy Helpers School, West Seneca
Global Concepts Charter School
Health Sciences Charter School
Holy Angels Academy
Immaculate Conception School, East Aurora
King Center Charter School
Lackawanna City Schools
Lancaster Central Schools
Mount Mercy Academy, South Buffalo
Nardin Academy
Notre Dame Academy, South Buffalo
Oracle Charter School
Orchard Park Central Schools
Our Lady of Black Rock
Our Lady of Pompeii School, Lancaster
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Orchard Park
Pinnacle Charter School
Portville Central Schools
Queen of Heaven School
St. Bernadette School
St. Francis High School, Athol Springs
St. John Christian Academy
St. John Vianney School
St. Margaret's School
St. Mary's High School, Lancaster
St. Mary's School for the Deaf
St. Vincent de Paul, Springbrook
Stanley G. Falk School
South Buffalo Charter School
Trinity Catholic Academy, South Buffalo
Trinity Christian School, West Seneca
Trocaire College
Villa Maria College
West Seneca Central Schools
West Seneca Christian School
Western New York Maritime Charter School
Westminster Community Charter School

Source: Buffalo radio and television school closing websites.

Downsize the Buffalo Board of Ed?

When Ferry District rep Pamela Cahill submitted a resolution on Wednesday to downsize the board from nine to six members, the other eight members were quick to vote no.

As some of her colleagues pointed out, there were serious problems with Cahill's resolution, including the fact that a school board needs an odd number of members -- and the fact that her proposed solution for tie votes, having a student cast the deciding vote, is not condoned by state law. Some on the board, including Lou Petrucci and Chris Jacobs, tried unsuccessfully to convince Cahill to send the matter back to committee, in part so she could work out some of the flaws with the resolution.

Board of ed In the end, it's hard to know how many of those eight "no" votes represented out-and-out opposition to the concept of downsizing, and how many were a reflection of the problems woven into Cahill's specific resolution.

So let's say there were a resolution to downsize the board from nine to seven members.

The advantages, according to Cahill: The $5,000 for each board member's stipend, plus other money spent on cell phones, travel, etc., could be spent on services for students. And with a shrinking district that's lost 7,000 students in the past decade, as well as scores of staff, maybe nine members are no longer necessary.

The disadvantages, according to other board members: At a time when Buffalo schools are in dire fiscal straits, the students need as much representation as possible. And saving a few thousand dollars is insignificant in a district budget of about $950 million, once you include all the grants.

How would you vote?



- Mary Pasciak

E-mail me at or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter.

And the winning $20,000 tweet is...

We reported in November that KFC planned to award a $20,000 scholarship to the student who submitted the best tweet.

The best of the bunch, the judges decided, was a tweet from Amanda Russell, a student from Long Beach, Calif.: "#KFCScholar Hey Colonel! Your scholarship's the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success! Got the grades, drive, just need cash!"

Twitter KFC officials said they sifted through more than 2,800 entries nationwide to find the very best one.

"With such an overwhelming response, the judging was extremely difficult," said John Cywinski, chief marketing and food innovation officer for KFC, in a press release. "While all entrants exemplified what it means to be a Colonel's Scholar, Amanda displayed a combination of wit and drive that clearly stood out. We are very proud that she is our newest Scholar."

Amanda, who has a 3.9 GPA, is thinking about pursuing a career in medicine. She hasn't decided where she wants to go to college. Her parents -- both teachers -- are no doubt thankful for the scholarship, especially given the fact that they have two younger children to put through college, after Amanda.

Other entries in the contest ran the gamut: earnest, humorous, rhyming -- even the hint of bribery:

From Rosemary Fajardo: "As I holler to #KFCScholar for a chance to cut mom's stress, w/ 150 service hrs I also want to help others through medical & music progress."

Elina Gulumian: #KFCscholar I've eaten KFC all my life and now am morbidly obese. I want some happiness in my life. $20,000 should cover my liposuction."

Briona McCall: "I want to be the 1 you're pickin, the 1 who's always eating your chicken. Pick me for the 20k, I could use that over this way. #KFCScholar."

Sarah Smith: "I'm a lot like KFC's famous bowls. I have many layers (many talents) that all come together to make one "delicious" person. #kfcscholar"

Katlyn Glaser: "If I can obtain the money to earn my ideal Journalism degree, I will write nothing but good reviews on your food. #KFCScholar"

- Mary Pasciak

E-mail me at or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter.

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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 |