Big Day For Buffalo Schools

September 15, 2011 Updated Sep 15, 2011 at 6:23 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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September 15, 2011 Updated Sep 15, 2011 at 6:23 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - It's a big day in the Buffalo Public School District as Superintendent Dr. James Williams says goodbye.

"I'm just happy that I'm leaving healthy and I'm happy about the accomplishments we made," Williams said.

Williams has been with the district for seven years. He was planning to retire for the district next June, but over the summer the school board decided he was to leave as of Thursday.

Williams has worked on many projects with the district including a one billion dollar district wide renovation. He said more importantly, he has worked to make improvements in academics.

"We have made great progress from 2005 to 2011 by adding additional AP and honors classes, going from 16 to 146," Williams said.

Southside Elementary School Principal Darlene Jesonowski said she wants to thank Williams for a job well-done.
"We want to wish him well. He's done a great job with the children of Buffalo Public Schools and he has worked hand in hand with us to really create the programs that we have," Jesonowski said.

Williams was able to share his last day with one school that has seen $15 million in changes. It was a two-year project where students had to be moved from that building to two different schools. Now, they are all back under one roof and Williams was there to cut the ribbon in their big grand opening ceremony.

"We very excited to be opening up a brand new school with state of the art equipment for our students to use. From interactive board and gym which was renovated along with our auditorium which was renovated," Jesonowski said.

Student Erica Hartman said she's excited to be back.

"It feels good to be back in this building because it's my school," Hartman said.

School officials said these renovations will help children's overall learning.

"Students will be coming up to the 21st century learning," Jesonowski said.

With that, Williams said he feels he has made a positive impact on the district.
"I can say to this community we are leaving you in better shape than it was when I came here in 2005 in this school district," Williams said.