By Harry Kane
During the School Committee meeting on Monday the most significant topic of conversation concerned the number of new teachers in the Somerville school system, according to Ward 5 School Committee member Mark Niedergang. The total number of new teachers is 53.
“There are 25 retirements because we still have the baby boom generation teachers retiring in large numbers,” explained Niedergang.
Plus, the economy is getting better, said Niedergang, and professionals have more options. There are a variety of reasons why teachers may be leaving. Some older teachers are retiring while younger teachers may be leaving because their spouse may have to relocate. Things are in a state of flux.
Niedergang said that Somerville is finding “great new people” to work in the district. He says that huge numbers of applications have been coming in for teaching positions. “We have tremendous selectivity, in terms of options for qualified people,” he said.
“Somerville is hot. People love Somerville,” Niedergang said. “They want to live here and work here. This is an urban school district that works.”
There has been a significant turnover of teachers in Somerville over the past few years, so this personnel changeover is not new, explained Niedergang.
“You’re always sad to see people who have been with you for a long time, and who have a lot of experience,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s great to get highly qualified new blood.”
You can look at it two ways, said Niedergang. Either the glass is half full or half empty. “I see it as half full,” he said.