Christopher A. Cotter
|Christopher A. Cotter|
|Board Member, New Bedford School Committee, At-large|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|High school||New Bedford High School|
|Bachelor's||University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth|
|Service/branch||U.S. National Guard|
Christopher Cotter resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Cotter graduated from New Bedford before earning his Associate's degree in Criminal Justice and serving in the National Guard. Early in his career, he worked in a variety of positions in the banking industry while serving part-time at the Acushnet Police Department and studying for a Bachelor's degree at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Cotter joined the New Bedford Police Department in 2000, and he currently serves as a detective in its juvenile and sexual assault unit.
Christopher Cotter ran unsuccessfully against five other candidates for one of three at-large seats in the general election on November 5, 2013. Another challenger, Michael Janson, finished in last place in the primary and did not continue on to the general election.
|New Bedford Public Schools, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Lawrence J. Finnerty Incumbent||19.3%||4,489|
|Nonpartisan||Jack Nobrega Incumbent||16.9%||3,921|
|Nonpartisan||Maria H. Mojica-Mosquea||15.9%||3,687|
|Nonpartisan||Christopher A. Cotter||15.1%||3,514|
|Source: New Bedford Guide, "2013 New Bedford Election Results," accessed November 6, 2013|
|New Bedford Public Schools, At-large Primary Election, 4-year term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Lawrence J. Finnerty Incumbent||19.9%||2,682|
|Nonpartisan||Jack Nobrega Incumbent||18.5%||2,486|
|Nonpartisan||Christopher A. Cotter||13.8%||1,856|
|Nonpartisan||Maria H. Mojica-Mosquea||13%||1,750|
|Source: New Bedford, Massachusetts, "Preliminary Election," accessed October 9, 2013|
As of October 11, no campaign donations or expenditures for Christopher Cotter were reported to the New Bedford Election Commission.
Christopher Cotter did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.
Cotter stated that his primary concerns in running for School Committee were "class size, differentiated instruction, safety of our students, and working on improving the parent-school communication and involvment!"
Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.
What was at stake?
Incumbents Jack Nobrega, John Fletcher and Bruce Oliveira announced that they would file for re-election. Oliveira ran unopposed for a two-year term, all other candidates competed for three seats with three-year terms. On August 13, incumbent Lawrence J. Finnerty announced that he would seek municipal office rather than re-election to the School Committee, which left one board seat vacant. South Coast Today journalist Natalie Sherman notes that Finnerty was an independent voice on the board, and that, "...his retirement could shift the internal dynamics of the board." However, Fletcher and Finnerty both ultimately decided to reverse their decisions. Five challengers, Brian Pastori, Josh Amaral, Christopher A. Cotter, Maria H. Mojica-Mosquea and Michael Janson also filed for the four available School Committee seats. In the end, both incumbents, Nobrega and Fletcher, retained their seats and Amaral won a seat on the board.
In August, 2013, Superintendent Pia Durkin announced that the school district would be laying off more than 200 employees, including 150 teachers. These cuts came in response to significant budgetary problems within the district, and Superintendent Durkin has confirmed that these cuts are final and will not be reversed, unlike layoffs in previous years. Following the announcement of the cuts, Superintendent Durkin admitted that the cuts "created a great deal of angst" in the community. The school district also has "one of the worst records in the state in terms of student test scores and graduation rates." The school board has voted to open an "innovation school" to address academic performance issues in the district, which resulted in a backlash from challenger Josh Amaral and the local teachers union, the New Bedford Educators Association.
About the districtBristol County, Massachusetts. The county seat of Bristol County is Taunton. According to the 2010 US Census, Bristol County is home to 551,082 residents.
Bristol County underperformed the rest of Massachusetts in terms of its poverty rate, median rates of average household income and higher education achievement in 2011. The poverty rate in Bristol County was 11.3% compared to 10.7% for the entire state. The median household income in Bristol County was $55,813 compared to $65,981 for the state of Massachusetts. The US Census also found that 25.1% of Bristol County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 38.7% in Massachusetts.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Christopher + Cotter + New + Bedford + Public + School"
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- Natalie Sherman, SouthCoastToday, "Police detective, parent wants to be involved on School Committee," September 30, 2013
- City of New Bedford, Massachusetts, "Candidate Information - Financial Disclosure Laws for New Bedford," accessed October 11, 2013
- Facebook, "Elect Chris Cotter," accessed October 11, 2013
- New Bedford Guide, "2013 New Bedford Elections," accessed November 5, 2013
- Natalie Sherman, South Coast Today, "Municipal elections housekeeping," August 13, 2013
- Natalie Sherman, South Coast Today, "Observers point to possibility of turnover in New Bedford School Committee election," July 13, 2013
- Jim Phillips, WBSM, "Durkin: 2013 Will Be Challenging School Year," August 8, 2013
- Natalie Sherman, South Coast Today, "Pia Durkin wastes no time tackling New Bedford's school problems," August 4, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Bristol County, Massachusetts," accessed August 16, 2013
- Massachusetts Secretary of State, “Enrollment Breakdown as of 2/15/2012,” accessed August 7, 2013