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Ken-Ton issues statement on principal transfer

By Joseph Popiolkowski

Last night's Ken-Ton School Board meeting and budget hearing was as about exciting as you'd expect a budget hearing to be. That was, until four mothers spoke — sometimes tearfully — during the public comment portion and expressed their disappointment that Hamilton Elementary School Principal Michael Huff will be transferred to fill a vacancy at Hoover Elementary School.

Hamilton is slated to close in the 2016-17 school year along with Roosevelt Elementary and Kenmore Middle School as part of a restructuring. 

“He is the heart and soul of the school and the only person who can get the students through the difficult closing coming in the near future,” one mother said of Huff.

Perhaps due to the showing last night, the district this afternoon issued a statement about the transfer:

The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District announces the transfer of Michael Huff to Hoover Elementary School beginning July 1, 2014. Huff, currently serving as principal at Hamilton Elementary, will fill the vacancy of Fran Paskowitz upon her retirement from Hoover Elementary School.

Hamilton Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary and Kenmore Middle School are slated to close in the 2016-17 school year as part of the redistricting plan that was unanimously approved by the Board of Education on April 1, 2014. The plan will potentially save the District $4.9 million in its first year and will allow the District to better serve the students and residents of the District.

“Mr. Michael Huff has seniority, therefore he will transfer to Hoover to fill the vacancy we will have from Mrs. Paskowitz’s retirement on June 30, 2014,” states Mark Mondanaro, superintendent of schools. “The District has a transitioning plan and we intend to make every effort for this process to be smooth for all – especially our students. Mr. Huff will be available to assist with the transition at Hamilton. We appreciate Mr. Huff’s years of service to the Hamilton Community. We are filling the two year Hamilton principal position internally and we will work with the faculty, students and parents to ensure a smooth transition process.”

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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.

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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.

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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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