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Rochester school board zeroing in on interim superintendent appointment

James Brown
WXXI News file photo

The Rochester city school board has until next week to select an interim superintendent. And while board members are seeking public input, some may already have a candidate in mind.

The city school board is holding a public forum Thursday afternoon for comments on the selection process.

However, in a recent email exchange between some board members and administrators obtained by WXXI News, it appears there already is a push to coalesce support behind one candidate who has not been publicly identified but was expected to meet with board members Monday.

The board scheduled a special meeting for Monday afternoon that was expected to go into executive session. At least two board members have said they are unable to attend.

WXXI contacted several board members about the search. Most declined to speak on the record. School board member Camille Simmons said a decision has not been made.

"That's not knowledge that I'm aware of," Simmons said. “I think there are some candidates that there's collective energy around, but we're supposed to be entering conversations with objective thoughts, and objective consideration of said candidates before making a decision.”

She said the board came to an understandingin a meeting last weekthat public input would inform their final selection.

“There's a lot of concern and need from our community right now,” Simmons said. "We have a superintendent that's leaving the district. On July 1 he's gone, and we've got major decisions that have to happen and implementation of key projects, if you will, that are going to be happening this year.”

The search for an interim superintendent comes just as the school board undergoes budget deliberations for the upcoming school year’s finances.

The interim candidate would be responsible for overseeing significant changes in the district. That includes school closures, school relocations, and grade restructuring as part of a school reconfiguration plan.

The city school district’s public forum is 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Central Office.

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.