Personnel changeover in Somerville schools

On August 29, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

School Committee member from Ward 5 Mark Niedergang.

School Committee member from Ward 5 Mark Niedergang.

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.



22 Responses to “Personnel changeover in Somerville schools”

  1. ritepride says:

    Thus the reason for being 21st in the state rating of schools? Instead of testing the students with MCAS they should be testing teaching administrators and then the teachers. Sometimes there are too many changes that you wonder….are they really justified or something created by higher ups who dont have to deal with the every day teaching issues and are done for their job justification. Fire fighters, Police officers, etc have mandatory annual training and testing, yet the school system which takes up more than half of the city’s operating budget does not….definitely has to be fixed. Less management and use that money for teachers/supplies.

  2. mario says:

    What is the point of this ‘news’ story? It’s a shameless promotion by a candidate looking for free publicity, nothing more. Okay, people retired, and they were replaced. That’s worthy of a news piece? Why not talk about the numbers of people who stay long enough to take advantage of free all day pre-school and kindergarten, then high tail it for the burbs. Now that might make a story. But it wouldn’t say much for his tenure on the school committee, now would it?

  3. Barry the Pig says:

    Mario, don’t be a grouchy old man! This guy has a fabulous smile! :)

  4. Bingo says:

    Hard to trust a guy with a beard and glasses. I’d vote for him if he shaved or got contacts.

  5. Harry says:

    Bingo, you are right, this guy looks shady and a bit Bernankeske…

  6. J says:

    Ask yourself the question. What, of all of the wild promises he made when running for school committee has he actually accomplished? My scorecard tells me the answer is none. That’s all I need to know.

  7. loser says:

    yeah, what is the point here? we had a lot of people retire, so we hired new people? fascinating. and to philosopher Neidergang–a glass is never half empty. if it’s half filled with water, it’s half filled with air, somewhat like yourself.

  8. Hope says:

    I hope people see through this desperate attempt to get some publicity.

  9. not so fast says:

    not so fast, people. this guy has a great strategy. if teachers leave, we should get new ones to take their place. If a bunch of teachers leave, we should get a bunch of new ones. and if there’s any way you can finagle two full time paychecks from the city while only doing one job, you should do it!!!

  10. mario says:

    I think people have learned that he’s very ‘transparent’. Shame on the Somerville News for printing it.

  11. murt says:

    at least he wasn’t collect nomination signatures at the memorial day parade this year. improvement.

  12. Ray Spitzer says:

    This guy looks like Gromit.

  13. leo says:

    And he removed his baseball cap for the picture.

  14. Bingo says:

    Gromit or the Cheshire Cat! I’ll be interested to see how badly this guy loses in the election. My guess is 5 to 1 O’Keefe.

  15. Louis says:

    Same old names and faces working on this guy’s campaign. Former candidates who lost miserably in the past.

  16. City Clubber says:

    Courtney did great at last night’s labor coalition forum despite having a progressive democrat of somerville video-recording her speech which was very awkward and distracting to the rest of us.

  17. murt says:

    political guru has mark sign at his house. odds up 7 to 1 o’keefe.

  18. Boston Kate says:

    People, people – It’s so wrong to criticize the way people look. Go after their unaccomplishments.

  19. lou lou says:

    @Boston Kate: ha ha ha

  20. sue says:

    Sorry, Boston Kate, but there aren’t any that I can think of…….

  21. Michael says:

    Leaving immature comments about people’s looks aside…I would like to discuss the simple facts of this candidate. Similarly to the abrupt appearance of this article was the abrupt appearance of this man as a candidate for ward 5 alderman. I need a little more than just “I own a house here” and “my kids went to school here” to vote for him. On the other hand when I opened my Somerville Journal or News for years I would see eloquently written op-eds by Courtney or quotes from her because she attended an important meeting. Where has Mark been? I know where Courtney has been…on the scene.

  22. J says:

    If you live in Ward 5 it’s really telling that you don’t know who he is, as he has been ‘representing’ Ward 5 for several years on the school committee. Hasn’t done much, is not at all visible in the school community. I know that he misrepresents himself and his opponents when he runs (should probably do a little homework before knocking on a residents’ door). I agree with you on Courtney, by the way. A breath of fresh air.

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