Difference between revisions of "Steven Siegel"

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Revision as of 20:57, 7 April 2014

Steven Siegel
Steven Siegel.jpg
Board Member, Newton School Committee, Ward 5
Incumbent
Term ends
2015
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 8, 2011
Next generalNovember, 2015
Term limitsN/A
Personal
ProfessionSmall business owner
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Steven Siegel is the Ward 5 member of the Newton School Committee. He was first elected to the chamber in 2011 and he won re-election on November 5, 2013.

Biography

Steven Siegel resides in Newton, Massachusetts. Siegel studied at the University of Connecticut before founding his own structural design engineering firm in 1994, Siegel Associates.[1] He serves on the Newton STEM Council and contributes guest opinion columns to the Newton TAB.[2]

Elections

2013

See also: Newton Public Schools elections (2013)

Opposition

Steven Siegel ran unopposed to keep his Ward 5 seat in the general election on November 5, 2013.

Results

Newton Public Schools, Ward 5 General Election, 2-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteven Siegel Incumbent 99.3% 5,797
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.7% 38
Total Votes 5,835
Source: Newton, Massachusetts, "Official Results - November 5, 2013," accessed December 18, 2013

Funding

Steven Siegel reported no 2013 contributions or expenditures, an existing balance of $20.00 and $3,271.17 in outstanding liabilities to the Newton Election Commission, which left his campaign with $3,251.17 in debt.[3]

Endorsements

Steven Siegel did not receive any official endorsements for his 2013 campaign.

2011

Newton Public Schools, Ward 5 General Election, 2-year term, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteven Siegel 57.1% 4,618
     Nonpartisan Susan E. Rosenbaum 42.7% 3,452
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 12
Total Votes 8,082
Source: Newton, Massachusetts, "City of Newton November 8, 2011 Municipal Election Official Results," accessed November 19, 2013

Campaign themes

Siegel's campaign website listed the following campaign themes:[4]

  • Repair our deteriorating school infrastructure

In this post-NNHS era, we know that we must maintain, renovate and build new spaces with a sound plan, community consensus and a responsible budget. Newton must commit sufficient funding to the maintenance of our existing buildings to preserve their safety, function, and value. Renovation and building replacement should follow a master plan derived from Mayor Warren’s newly commissioned building inventory survey. Information from our 2007 Long Range School Facilities Plan should be folded into this survey and new recommendations should be developed that reflect the present circumstances of need, enrollment projections, and available budget.

  • Create Opportunity Out of our Budget Crisis

Plato noted that necessity is the mother of invention. How can we turn our budget crisis into a force for positive change within our school system? What actions can Newton take this year in response to our budget crisis? What programs, pilots and other initiatives can help us “make lemonade out of lemons”?

    • Aggressive pursuit of public/private partnerships
    • Exploration of online learning, especially to preserve breadth of program
    • Full utilization of classroom spaces to offset costly new construction
    • Embrace of new technologies, including 1:1 computing, ELMO, smartboards
    • Engage in an ongoing review and assessment of best practices


  • Attract and retain top quality teachers within a sustainable plan

We must attract and retain top-quality teachers while changing the financial model that has become unaffordable. Teacher quality is the most important factor in student achievement, so we must find the right balance of pay, benefits, and working conditions to recruit and keep the best. Financial sustainability is a key – we can no longer offer compensation growth that exceeds the growth rate of city revenues. The alternative to this – teacher layoffs, higher class-sizes, greater stress and compromised educational outcomes for our students – can be avoided if we stay focused on the need to modify our compensation model to adjust with the times. What is best for our children? How do we support those with whom we entrust the education and care of our children?

  • Strengthen our math/science curriculum

The breadth of our STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program is well illustrated in our high school course offerings, yet Newton produces a much lower percentage of STEM-career students than MA as a whole, and much lower than federal goals. Newton should focus on increasing interest in and enthusiasm for STEM offerings, beyond simply making quality programs available. This is about supporting our children, as 80% of new job growth in the next decade will be in STEM-related fields. President Obama promotes the strengthening of STEM education as being critical to our global competitiveness and economic strength. In Newton, support of FIRST Robotics, the DIGITS program, The Innovation Lab and the Greengineering Program are each a way to spark STEM enthusiasm and commitment way beyond what is possible in a traditional classroom teaching environment.

  • Build Community-Wide Support for our Schools

Only 20% of our households have children enrolled in Newton Public Schools. How do we successfully argue to the remaining 80% that our schools are a worthwhile investment? Barney Frank said that “government is what we choose to do as a community.” The most important thing that Newton does as a community is to provide education for our children. Our family, friends, and neighbors did, do, or will benefit from the strong public education available to every Newton student. I believe that we have a cross-generational compact to provide the best learning experiences for our children, through strong financial support via our city government. As a side benefit, excellent schools create for Newton property owners very high, stable property values. School buildings should house enriching activities for all of our residents, through community education programs, access to athletic facilities, meeting spaces, and auditoriums. Our buildings must welcome our residents as community resources. Finally, our city leaders must directly reward community support by demonstrating purposeful, responsible use of tax dollars on school expenditures.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.


What was at stake?

There were eight seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Five incumbents ran unopposed for re-election, including Angela Pitter-Wright, Diana Fisher Gomberg, Steven Siegel, Matt Hills and Margie Ross Decter. Fellow incumbents Geoff Epstein, Jonathan Yeo and Chairperson Claire Sokoloff did not file for re-election. Newcomers Ellen P. Gibson and Ruth E. Goldman ran unopposed for Epstein and Sokoloff's seats, respectively. The only contested race was in Ward 2 for Yeo's seat, for which Margaret L. Albright defeated Andrea R. Steenstrup.[5]

About the district

See also: Newton Public Schools, Massachusetts
Newton Public Schools is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Newton Public Schools is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The county seats of Middlesex County are Lowell and Cambridge. According to the 2010 US Census, Middlesex County is home to 1,537,215 residents.[6]

Demographics

Middlesex County outperformed 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 Middlesex County was 7.7% compared to 10.7% for the entire state. The median household income in Middlesex County was $79,691 compared to $65,981 for the state of Massachusetts. The US Census also found that 49.8% of Middlesex County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 38.7% in Massachusetts.[6]

Racial Demographics, 2012[6]
Race Middlesex County (%) Massachusetts (%)
White 82.3 83.7
Black or African American 5.3 7.9
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.5
Asian 10.1 5.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.0 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 7.0 10.1

Party Affiliation, 2012[7]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 342,112 36.90
Republican 96,970 10.46
Green-Rainbow 1,134 0.12
Unaffiliated 483,119 52.11
Other 3,854 0.42

Recent news

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See also

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