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.”