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Peterborough loses 35 jobs to Seacoast in SDE move

Union Leader Correspondent

January 12. 2018 12:15AM
About year and half after SDE founder Jim Grant of Peterborough passed away, the company announced plans Wednesday to move its headquarters away from its founding town to Portsmouth. (Meghan Pierce/Correspondent)

PETERBOROUGH — About a year and half after SDE founder Jim Grant of Peterborough passed away, the company announced plans Wednesday to move its headquarters to Portsmouth.

The move is a matter of keeping Grant’s vision for SDE — Staff Development for Educators — alive, SDE general manager Emily Hawkins said Thursday.

“There’s a ton of history in Peterborough and Peterborough was incredibly important to our founder Jim Grant. But what was more important to Jim Grant was ensuring that we are able to continue to keep working with teachers and this is going to increase the likelihood that we’ll be able to continue his legacy for even longer and continue serve teachers,” Hawkins said.

SDE is currently located at 10 Sharon Road in Peterborough, but is aiming to relocate to Portsmouth by the beginning of April where SDE plans to share office space and departments with its sister company Stenhouse Publishers, of Portland, Maine.

“We’ve been sister companies for a long time, but we are going to be forming a closer relationship and going to be relocating to shared office space in Portsmouth,” Hawkins said. “We are both subsidiaries of Highlights for Children.”

SDE employs 35 people in Peterborough, about 10 who have been offered positions in Portsmouth.

“Everybody who has been invited to come with us to Portsmouth will have some time to think about it,” Hawkins said.

Departments like customer service, marketing, sales and operations will be combined in the new shared space in Portsmouth. The exact location has not been announced yet.

“This does not impact our presenters, which are independent contractors,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins said the exact number of people let go by the relocation will depend on how many offered jobs take them. Those let go will be assisted by SDE with placement services.

SDE provides professional development for Pre-K through Grade 12 educators including onsite professional development, state and national conferences that attract thousands of educators every year.

Grant was a teaching principal in Temple before he started SDE from his Peterborough kitchen table in 1986 with his wife Lillian. According to SDE history, the Grants started the company “with the original goal of providing New England teachers the opportunity to learn the best techniques from the best teachers in the region.”

Highlights for Children acquired SDE in 1991, but Grant continued to lead the company until his illness in 2016. Grant died in July 2016 at the age of 74 after a five-month battle with mesothelioma. He is remembered as a Peterborough native, an educator, father, grandfather, husband, business leader, firefighter and humanitarian.

Business Peterborough Portsmouth

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