CITY OF TONAWANDA — Dr. Whitney Vantine served his last day as superintendent last week, and since then, Assistant Superintendent Mary Beth Scullion has been taking his place.
“If you have an assistant superintendent, they are trained in the capacity to be moved into the position,” school board President Jackie Smilinich said.
Scullion was appointed to the interim post at the board’s last meeting, held Oct. 9 and took her oath of office at the regular meeting Tuesday.
She is receiving a $500 stipend per week in addition to her salary, but the appointment is saving the district salary money, as hiring an individual outside of the district would have cost substantially more.
Scullion has a great deal of experience in education — she started out as an elementary school teacher at Catholic schools and was a long-term substitute teacher during that time.
She’s certified as a K-12 teacher, so has also taught business classes as well as graduate courses at universities.
“I also was a business owner of a restaurant in Niagara Falls for eight years,” Scullion said. “But education has always been my passion.”
After her teaching career, she transitioned into administration, working as a staff developer for Erie 1 BOCES and then serving as the Director of Instruction in the Starpoint district before coming to the City of Tonawanda six years ago as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, technology, staff development and assessment.
But in the past week, she’s taken on yet another duty as the interim superintendent.
“It’s exciting and challenging at the same time,” Scullion said.
She is shuffling between her two offices, keeping tabs on her two positions.
“I’m currently trying to move the district forward on the common core standards, I’ve negotiated with the unions for APPR and I’m keeping tabs on the capital project in addition to doing assessments,” Scullion said. “It’s a mixture of the present and working for the future.”