Nashua hires new teachers, school administratorsBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
September 04. 2018 8:45PM
NASHUA — Two new administrators and more than 20 new teachers were officially hired last week to begin the school year.
Overall, more than 80 positions have been filled this summer within the Nashua School District after dozens of resignations and reassignments.
There are still four vacant positions left, including a speech pathologist, full-time substitute teacher and two school psychologists, according to school officials.
Last week, the Board of Education appointed Jason Tesini as the interim principal at Pennichuck Middle School and Richard Simoneau as the assistant principal at Elm Street Middle School.
“I am happy to be here,” Simoneau told the board. “I love the challenge of coming to a bigger school.”
Simoneau, who started last week as the new assistant principal at Elm Street Middle School, has worked in the field of education for about 18 years. He previously served as assistant principal at Conant High School in Jaffrey, and started his career as a social studies teacher.
He stressed the importance of individualized learning opportunities to help every student in the district succeed, as well as the need for advisory periods to help teachers make connections with students.
“We are at a critical point that we need to do this for our children,” he said of the individualized learning concept.
Simoneau was hired at an annual salary of $88,000.
Tesini, who was selected as the interim principal at Pennichuck Middle School, was previously employed as the school’s assistant principal.
He originally taught social studies in Nashua for about eight years before taking roles as assistant principal and vice president of advancement at Bishop Guertin High School; Tesini returned to the Nashua School District last year.
Tesini said he hopes to see students active, engaged and solving problems with creative solutions while teachers offer direction and guidance. He also emphasized the need for staff to develop a strong rapport with students, which Tesini said is critical at the middle school level.
“In every case we want our students to be self motivated,” he added.
Howard Coffman, Board of Education member, said he has concerns about advancing students to the next grade level when they might not be prepared for the academic challenges ahead.
“Every individual is unique and learns at his or her own rate,” said Tesini, who admits there are challenges when students do not grow at the rate expected and remediation or acceleration must be chosen.
Sometimes it is more beneficial to move the students forward and work with them individually to remediate certain skills, according to Tesini.
“I think it is a growing issue here in Nashua,” he said, admitting this was not a conversation that took place about a decade ago. While there is not a perfect solution, the problem must be addressed, goals need to be set, data must be measured and adjustments should be made along the way, said Tesini, whose new annual salary is $103,000.