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Dixon says yes, she wants the job

Since she was appointed interim superintendent a few months ago, Amber Dixon has declined to say whether she's interested in being a candidate for the permanent superintendency.

Well, now she's talking.

"I'm encouraged and excited by the changes we've begun making as a community on behalf of our children," she said. "I'd like to see them through."

DixonThis, of course, has been one of the brightest weeks in memory for the Buffalo Public Schools. Two major announcements gave the district quite a boost: Buffalo Promise Neighborhood and Say Yes to Education.

While one focuses on one just part of the city (the 14215 ZIP code), both programs have quite a bit in common. They both take a long-term approach to change. They both combine millions in public and private funding. They both look to improve education by providing health, social and community services to families.

And, of course, they both come as welcome news just a few months into Dixon's interim superintendency. Both projects were in the works well before she took the helm, and both were heavily steered by people outside the district.

And both have done a whole lot to inject some optimism around the Buffalo Public Schools.

Dixon says the two announcements have nothing to do with the timing of her decision to seek the superintendency.

Instead, she says she was waiting for the process to play out for submitting school improvement grants for seven low-performing schools. She's reviewing those applications and hopes to submit them by the end of this week.

"The work has begun, the board and community have a sense of who I am, and I believe we are moving forward together," she said.

The School Board is expected to decide in January which of seven consultants to hire for the superintendent search.

- 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 |