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School Zone: What happened in 2010

Thousands of you now make the School Zone blog your destination for education information every week. 

Vivian Evans2 In case you tuned in late to the School Zone, here are just a few of the things you might have missed since we launched the blog in September:

- The "Where in the world is Vivian Evans?" series of posts and related news stories culminated this month with the resignation of the Board of Education's East District representative.

- Readers met Lawrence Martinez, the retired Niagara Falls administrator who got more than $200,000 in his final year working for the district.

- The Buffalo News' first-ever live chat with newsmakers was right here at the School Zone, featuring Phil Rumore and Chris Jacobs fielding reader questions about cosmetic surgery benefits for Buffalo teachers.

 - One of our most popular posts reported on a national study detailing the dire reality facing black males in American schools.

Boy with backpack - We brought you the audio from a panel discussion on school reform in Buffalo, featuring Rumore, Superintendent James A. Williams and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt.

- Lessons on school reform from former Washington, D.C., chancellor Michelle Rhee provided food for thought.

- Readers weighed in on residency for Buffalo teachers, downsizing the Board of Education, and what makes schools great.

The School Zone blog will be on hiatus for the next couple of weeks, but mark your calendar: We will return on Monday, Jan. 3. In the meantime, if you have any education news or ideas you'd like to share, please e-mail me at

Here's wishing everyone has a safe and restful holiday season!

- Mary Pasciak

E-mail me at or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter. Check out the Buffalo News' education page at

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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 |