SDE moves to Seacoast

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 6:38PM

Staff Development for Educators, or SDE, will be leaving Peterborough for new headquarters in Portsmouth, the company announced on Wednesday.

The move is designed to allow a closer partnership with its sister company, Stenhouse Publishers, of Portland, Maine, according to a press release issued on Wednesday. Both companies are subsidiaries of Highlights for Children, which acquired SDE in 1991, but the two only began working closely together in the last two years.

Stenhouse Publisher will also be moving headquarters to Portsmouth, so the companies can combine their professional development capabilities.

“While Peterborough has been SDE’s home since Jim and Lillian Grant began the company from their kitchen table, it has become clear that to flourish in the future we need additional resources that we do not have on our own,” said Emily Hawkins, SDE general manager, who will oversee marketing, sales and operations of the combined organization.

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

Currently, said Hawkins, SDE employs 35 employees. While some SDE employees will follow the company to Portsmouth, the move entails restructuring to better align the two organizations. As such, the company will eliminate positions in Peterborough. Between 15 and 20 jobs will be cut in the move, according to Hawkins. SDE is providing impacted employees with a transition period and outplacement services.

 “While we are sad to leave the Peterborough area, this move will position us to build a stronger business, which will continue Jim Grant’s legacy of helping teachers,” said Hawkins. “We also intend to continue the scholarship program we began last year under his name.”

While each business will continue to focus mainly on their own mission, the closer partnership will allow them to share resources related to presenters, authors, and marketing and sales, and positions SDE for a potential future expansion, said Hawkins.

”Jim [Grant’s] vision was to make sure SDE would continue to go forward and to help teachers. This is making sure we can continue that legacy and making sure we’re using our resources as wisely as possible,” said Hawkins.

“We operate in an increasingly competitive marketplace,” said Kent Johnson, CEO of Highlights for Children, Inc. “This partnership will enable us to provide customers with full service professional development, ultimately reaching more teachers and students.”

Hawkins says SDE is looking for tenants for its 10 Sharon Road location that would hire locally and lessen the impact of the move. The move is anticipated to happen in early April, depending upon the finalization of the leasing of the Portsmouth location.


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.