Strong support for Dr. Tonja Williams to be next superintendent

"There is support for Dr. Williams from all board members"
Posted at 7:38 PM, Jul 13, 2022

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The Buffalo Public School District is expected to decide on a new city school superintendent on Thursday.

7 News has learned that there is strong support from the board in supporting interim Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams as the next, permanent leader.

Buffalo School Board member Sharon Belton-Cottman, Ferry District, tells 7 News she can confirm the board intends to have a conversation at Thursday’s special meeting and to take a vote on whether they will make Dr. Williams the permanent superintendent. Belton-Cottman says that is the board's intention for Thursday at a special session.

“You did tell the Buffalo News that it looks like there is unanimous support for her?” Buckley asked.

Buffalo School Board member Sharon Belton-Cottman.

“So far, to the best of my knowledge, I’m not the president — Lou Petrucci is the president and would have a better understanding of that than me, but my understanding is that there is support for Dr. Williams from all board members based on what we’ve seen —the progress the district has made during the short period of time that she has been with us,” replied Belton-Cottman. “Unfortunately, this leaked out before we had the chance to have our vote — but it appears we are on that path — and unapologetically I am supporting Dr.Willaims for that position because I feel she is the best solution for us at this point in time."

7 News also reached out to board President Petrucci. In a text Petrucci indicated that it is his expectation based on conversations with his fellow board members that Williams could be confirmed to be the new leader, however, they still must conduct a vote Thursday night.

Also in a text response, school board member Larry Scott stated “I can confirm we will be voting on the next permanent superintendent tomorrow.”

The board’s special session is slatted for 5 p.m. Thursday at Buffalo City Hall.

Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore also said he was told there was full support for Williams.

Dr. Williams was named interim superintendent in March when former School Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash resigned.