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Interim superintendent faces monumental task

Persuasion is a central thesis of successful leadership. It is the communication of changing minds and moving people to work together in favor of some large group purpose.

Donald Ogilvie, the interim superintendent, has demonstrated that he has mastered the “art of persuasion.” He will need this skill and others to move the Buffalo Schools in the direction of change.

It will be a monumental task given the history of urban educational leadership in America. If his efforts pay off, Buffalo could be in the forefront of urban educational revival. On the cautious side, looking at other impoverished cities’ lack of success in school improvement, his odds of turning our schools around are even.

In addition, how do students’ personal efforts and achievements impact educational outcomes of a district? They play a huge role!

Ogilvie’s persuasive skills must spill over not only on the administrative and instructional staff, but on every student in the district. Students are the largest stakeholders in the educational process. Motivating and persuading them to work hard will be a key factor in the turnaround plan.

If Ogilvie succeeds in improving the Buffalo Schools, perhaps the community can persuade him to continue his leadership role on a permanent basis.

W. John Kozinski

West Seneca