Dr. Kriner Cash had planned to take some time off after running the public schools in Memphis, but then he got a call from a friend in New York, saying Buffalo needed help.
Cash met with NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and she managed to convince Cash to make the move and take over the Buffalo Public School District. He arrived late last summer.
It's only been six months but Cash says he has a handle now on what needs to be done here and he's already putting his plans to work. He says it's a huge job and he works six days a week.
It's a long list of things to do, but at the top of that list Cash says it's the parents of students who have to step up. They are the first teachers and if a students home-life is directed properly then the scholastic part will fall into place pretty much on its own.
When it comes to Buffalo teachers and their lack of a labor contract for more than a decade, Cash says yes, that's unusual but he could fix that tomorrow. It's called negotiation. Both sides in the labor dispute have to give and take, and they have to go into talks determined to come out with a deal.
Cash says he's willing to meet with the teacher's union tomorrow, if that's what it takes.
Cash says he's here for the long term, that it's a four or five-year job to fix what's wrong and he says even though he had no desire to come to Buffalo, he's glad he did. He loves the people here and the students, and he admits he's now hooked on Western New York.