|Board Member, Newton School Committee, Ward 5|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||November 8, 2011|
|Next general||November, 2015|
|Profession||Small business owner|
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. He serves on the Newton STEM Council and contributes guest opinion columns to the Newton TAB.
- See also: Newton Public Schools elections (2013)
Steven Siegel ran unopposed to keep his Ward 5 seat in the general election on November 5, 2013.
|Newton Public Schools, Ward 5 General Election, 2-year term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Steven Siegel Incumbent||99.3%||5,797|
|Source: Newton, Massachusetts, "Official Results - November 5, 2013," accessed December 18, 2013|
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.
Steven Siegel did not receive any official endorsements for his 2013 campaign.
|Newton Public Schools, Ward 5 General Election, 2-year term, 2011|
|Nonpartisan||Susan E. Rosenbaum||42.7%||3,452|
|Source: Newton, Massachusetts, "City of Newton November 8, 2011 Municipal Election Official Results," accessed November 19, 2013|
Siegel's campaign website listed the following campaign themes:
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.
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”?
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?
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.
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.
About the district
- See also: Newton Public Schools, Massachusetts
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.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.
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- Newton Public Schools, "Current Members," accessed November 20, 2013
- Steve Siegel, "About Steve," accessed November 20, 2013
- Newton, Massachusetts, "Form CPF M 102: Campaign Finance Report," accessed November 19, 2013
- Steve Siegel, "Priorities," accessed November 20, 2013
- Trevor Jones, Wicked Local Newton, "Newton picks Crossley, Yates, Leary, Norton and Albright," November 5, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Middlesex County, Massachusetts," accessed September 10, 2013
- Massachusetts Secretary of State, "Enrollment Breakdown as of 2/15/2012," accessed September 10, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014