NEWFANE — Gary J. Pogorzelski is in line to become the new superintendent of the Newfane Central School District.

“Right now, we have a tentative agreement,” said James Reineke, the Board of Education president on Monday. “I can’t get into it (the contract) until we finalize the agreement.”

The board met with Pogorzelski at an executive session Monday night.

“I’m pleased, plain and simple,” said board member Donna Pieszala. “It’s been my hope all along that he be the choice. He’s the strongest candidate.”

Newfane has a comfort level with Pogorzelski, who has served as the Newfane Middle School principal for about the last year, according to Pieszala. Pogorzelski is expected to assume superintendent duties on Jan. 2. Dr. James Mills’ resignation becomes effective on Dec. 30.

There will be a reception for Mills at 6:15 p.m. prior to the school board meeting at 7 p.m. today at the Newfane High School library.

“I’m pleased with decision,” Pieszala said. “The community will speak loud and clear (Tuesday). Jim (Mills) is going to help Gary in transition. Jim knows what’s going on. He’s part of it.”

Scott E. Payne, the director of special education and pupil services at Amherst Central School District, and Phillip Benson, the principal of the Springville-Griffith Institute were the other finalists for the position.

“Gary is very well respected in Newfane,” said Peter Soemann of the citizen watchdog group Newfane CARES. “He gets things done and is very forth coming. It’s a great day for Newfane.”

Soemann said he is looking forward to a more open administration in working with a new administration. “Gary vowed to be far more open and that will be a good thing for the Newfane community,” Soemann said.

Reineke could not guarantee a contract will be finalized by tonight.

Pogorzelski lives in North Tonawanda. He received his associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Erie Community College. He got his bachelor’s in Elementary and Special Education from Buffalo State College and his master’s in Education Administration from Syracuse University. Pogorzelski also has a School District Certificate from Cortland University.

Contact Bill Wolcott at 439-9222, Ext. 6246.

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