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Sykes to come up at tonight's Buffalo School Board meeting

Tonight's regular Buffalo School Board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Waterfront Elementary School and it appears the board will have much to discuss. Check back later tonight for the live blog.

Board member Carl Paladino said he wants to publicly discuss the resignation of administrator Debra Sykes, which The News has written about each of the last two days. The board typically meets in closed session to discuss such matters, so it will be interesting to see whether he has any success getting the board to openly discuss any aspect of her resignation.

Sykes said Tuesday that she has had an opportunity to retire from the district three years ago and thought about it again last summer. She passed up those opportunities, she said, because after years of working directly with tough kids in troubled schools, she thought she could spend the next few years doing greater good for students in her current administrative position.

"Ha, ha," she said.

Paladino and others who have spoken with Sykes said they believe she was targeted by Brown because Sykes filed a harassment complaint against controversial consultant Mary Guinn months ago, and recently asked a human resources administrator why it wasn’t being addressed.

Sykes, who is expected to take legal action against the district, said she had no comment to make regarding the matter Tuesday. She will continue in her current position until the end of the month.

Meahwhile, Paladino reiterated his belief that Sykes’ removal is “just another event in the effort to get rid of all the white people” in the school district administration.

-- Sandra Tan

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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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