BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Friday morning at City Honors School, Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams delivered her State of the Schools Address.

Williams, a Buffalo native who served as Interim Superintendent following the departure of Dr. Kriner Cash, officially took on the role without the interim tag this past July.

Her administration has been under fire recently by members of the Buffalo Teachers Federation. The union, which represents many of the Queen City’s educators, has been calling for better pay after highlighting what they show to be disparities in pay between other local school districts.

Not only that, but teachers have also been calling for increased staffing, as well. It’s been since 2019 that a new contract between the union and the school district was finalized.

The speakers who addressed the audience before Williams took the podium spoke about equity within the district and said the students who need the most attention will not be forgotten.

Dr. Williams continued this theme, with hope for educational excellence and accelerated learning opportunities for all students. It was one part of her five goals to achieve by 2025.

Williams has a three-year contract as the head of the school district, something she noted while talking about the 2025 goal. Some of the other topics mentioned in those goals were the following:

  • prioritizing safety, security and wellness for students and staff
  • amplifying all voices in the community, especially those that have been historically marginalized
  • eliminating academic achievement and opportunity gaps
  • activating new partnerships to expand students’ learning and safety beyond the classroom

You can watch Dr. Williams’ speech in the first video below:

The full event can be viewed here:

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.