Published in the July 9, 2019 edition.
By MARK SARDELLA
WAKEFIELD — Mike Pfifferling is going home.
After more than six years as the Business Administrator for the Wakefield Public Schools, he will be leaving on Aug. 23 to take on the role of Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations for Haverhill Public Schools.
“I was born and raised in Haverhill, where I attended public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade,” Pfifferling told the Item. “Along with my parents, the Haverhill community played such a large role in building my character and core values. While I now reside in Groveland with my wife and four children, it brings me pride to know I will be returning to where my roots were established.”
The decision to leave Wakefield was not an easy one for the popular and well-respected school administrator.
“This has been the absolute hardest personal career decision I have ever had to make,” Pfifferling acknowledged. “Wakefield has been such a wonderful community for me and my professional growth. There are so many people that I will miss, but I plan to keep in touch as much as possible.
I will miss the students, supporting the educational staff, serving lunch on Fridays in the WMHS cafeteria and will definitely miss making the snow day phone calls during the winter months.”
Pfifferling said that he is grateful to the town of Wakefield, not just for how he was treated here personally, but for the way the town values education and its schools.
“The School Committee has been extremely supportive and gracious to me over the past seven years,” he said. “Their support of the Superintendent’s vision and their faith in my budgeting skills and accuracy has been truly appreciated. I have never felt as supported in my professional life as I have been from the Superintendents and School Committee members in Wakefield.”
But that support goes beyond just the School Department, Pfifferling noted.
“During my time in Wakefield, the Town Administrator, Town Hall departments, Finance Committee, DPW and Public Safety have always been supportive of the schools and respectful to my department,” he said. “I can only hope Haverhill Public Schools have the same relationship with their city counterparts.”
At last week’s School Committee meeting, Superintendent Douglas Lyons called Pfifferling “a partner to me in so many ways. He’s helped me with negotiations. He’s helped with human resources. He has been a voice of reason, a voice of patience and has been a kind leader and a thoughtful person in regard to carrying out our core values of love and care in everything that he does.”
Pfifferling said that he will especially miss the personal and working
relationships that he’s had in Wakefield.
“Most importantly, I will miss the Central Office staff who made me the administrator I am today,” he said. “The executive team, accountants, payroll/HR coordinator, Transportation Coordinator, Food Service Department and Facilities/Custodial group have been an absolute pleasure to work with.
For Pfifferling, leaving Wakefield is bittersweet.
“I sincerely believed I would someday retire from the Wakefield Public Schools — until this opportunity came along,” he said, noting that there is much about Wakefield that he will miss.
“Wakefield is a loving and caring community,” he said. “It is a town that I will always consider a second home.”