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Who will be Dixon's No. 2?

City Hall is abuzz with talk focusing on who will fill the No. 2 spot in Amber Dixon's administration.

She advertised for a chief academic officer, with a deadline of Friday (Oct. 7). She says she's going to look through the stack of resumes before making a decision.

Fran Wilson The word in the elevator is that Dixon's planning to appoint Fran Wilson, one of the community superintendents. (Pictured here about 10 years ago, when she was principal of School 74.)

Some in the district have pointed out that Wilson has little experience as a teacher -- she worked for 10 years in the district as an elementary school counselor. The only teaching experience listed on her resume is as a summer school teacher at School 68.

She has served as assistant principal at Southside Elementary (including a few months in there as acting principal), principal at Hamlin Park School 74, and principal at Makowski.

You might note that nowhere in there is any experience at the secondary level -- a condition common to the people that former Superintendent James Williams appointed to exempt positions. Some have pointed out that Dixon also lacks experience at the high school level, leading to questions regarding how well qualified the top two administrators (if Wilson were appointed) would be to turn around a four-year graduation rate that hovers around 50 percent.

Dixon won't comment on the rumors regarding Wilson. She's only saying that she needs to look through the stack of resumes before making a decision.

She has another stack of resumes to look through, too. Williams advertised over the summer for an associate superintendent of human resources, a position he never ended up filling. Dixon reposted that in September as an executive director of human resources. Eileen Fleming has been been the acting executive director of human resources for the past few months.

Dixon says she hopes to make both exempt appointments as soon as possible.

- Mary Pasciak

facebook.com/mary.pasciak     twitter.com/SchoolZoneBlog    mpasciak@buffnews.com

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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 | djgee@buffnews.com


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 | tlankes@buffnews.com


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 | stan@buffnews.com


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 | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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