Weekly Feature

2018-03-08 / Letters to the Editor

Bystrak makes best candidate

I just don’t get it. Superintendent search committee member Brendon Najm, although proclaiming that interim Superintendent Matthew Bystrak “has done an absolutely great job, is very honorable as interim superintendent,” wants to interview other candidates. My immediate reaction is why?

Let’s go back to the previous three superintendents.

James Brotz served as superintendent over 10 years ago. He was highly qualified, and there were no other candidates interviewed.

After him, Jean Kovach, the assistant superintendent under Mr. Brotz, was chosen while two or three other candidates were being considered. All of them were from downstate or mid-state, as I recall.

Next to be selected was Mark Crawford, who was Northwood’s principal. I don’t remember if there were other candidates.

None of these three superintendents were “failures.”

At present, Mr. Bystrak is the only candidate on the slate. Even Mr. Najm has praised Mr. Bystrak for his work as an interim superintendent. There is no need to go through the interview process to find someone better.

Mr. Bystrak is a known entity. Why take a chance on an outsider who may not be as good as Mr. Bystrak?

Phil Fanone
Lowell Lane

District must give answers

I’m confused. At the Feb. 12 West Seneca School Board meeting, the public could ask questions, but answers were not given at the meeting. I have questions I would like answered.

In the search for a new superintendent, how many candidates applied and/or were interviewed for the position? Names aren’t needed.

When considering Mark Crawford for superintendent, the board considered three candidates. Why would we now consider only one candidate?

As stated in a Feb. 15 article in The West Seneca Bee, “letters from the board and Erie 1 BOCES released earlier this month indicated a departure from the board’s initial plan to seek applicants and narrow them to three finalists for interviews with stakeholders.

“The February letters indicate that the board determined [interim Superintendent Matthew] Bystrak to be the best choice for superintendent ‘after a thorough review of applications,’ and invite the advisory committee to meet with Bystrak on Feb. 28, hear his vision for the district and provide the board with feedback before it makes a final decision,” the article continued.

Does Mr. Bystrak have a formal background in the skills needed to perform the duties of superintendent?

Why were district union contracts settled eight months early? Is this being good stewards of the public’s money?

Why have graduation rates continued to decline? Mr. Bystrak said the district keeps special needs children in house, causing lower graduation rates. All districts have special needs children.

West Seneca’s 2017 graduation rate was 83 percent, compared to the -Maryvale Union Free School District at 89 percent and the Orchard Park School District at 94 percent.

Why have test scores continued to decline? Why are electives disappearing from the curriculum? West Seneca uses a four-block teaching system, and two blocks are teacher preparation. Does this system benefit the teachers or the student body?

Susan Kims
Covington Drive

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