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Contenders are lining up for next year’s school board elections

Even though the Buffalo School Board elections are five months away, candidates are already lining up.

Three at-large seats - which are currently held by Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold and Board Members Florence Johnson and John Licata - will be up for grabs in May 2014. 

One-time mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez announced on Tuesday he was running for one of the seats

The next day, Wendy S. Mistretta, Ph.D. threw her hat in the ring, too. And she’s no rookie in the education arena.

She is the mother of two children in the school district.

She is a member of the District Parent Coordinating Council’s Executive Committee.

She was an assistant director of international education at SUNY Buffalo State for seven years until 2003.

And in school board elections this past May, she came in last in a three-way race for the North District seat that was filled by incumbent Jason McCarthy.

“After much consideration,” she decided to give it a shot again next year.

“I believe that as a mom with professional and academic experience in education, I have something to contribute to our school district,” Mistretta said in a written statement.

Rodriguez, a South Buffalo resident, ran unsuccessfully on the Republican line last month against Byron W. Brown for the mayor’s seat.

It'll be interesting to see who else joins the fray.

--Deidre Williams

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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 |