Unsung hero: Noblesville Schools superintendent Dr. Beth Niedermeyer retires

Hailey Durm and Lauren Patrick

According to the majority of the English-speaking population, the word impactful is defined as making a difference in a way that matters. According to the Noblesville community, the word impactful is defined as Dr. Beth Niedermeyer.


Niedermeyer, who has worked in school district leadership for twenty years and has held the position of Noblesville Schools superintendent for the past eight, has spent her career reaching tens of thousands of students, educators, and families. She has served numerous organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville, Noblesville Chamber of Commerce, Noblesville Youth Assistance, Noblesville Diversity Coalition and Noblesville Midday Rotary. She was named Central Indiana Superintendent of the Year, Indiana Principal of the Year, Fort Wayne Community Schools Teacher of the Year, and Aerospace Science Teacher of the Year. She has earned Excellence in Education awards, a Distinguished Education Alumna Award from Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne, and, most recently, received Indiana’s Sagamore of the Wabash award from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. Now that Niedermeyer has announced that she will be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, the Noblesville community is looking back on her career, accomplishments, and legacy.


Marnie Cooke, the director of marketing and communications of Noblesville Schools and part of Niedermeyer’s leadership cabinet, has worked with Niedermeyer for the past eight years. She says that Niedermeyer’s success comes from her positive motivations.


“Dr. Niedermeyer has a big heart and a strong drive to serve others. She builds and nurtures strong relationships with almost everyone she comes across, including those who may not always be happy with her decisions,” Cooke said. “She is a passionate learner and educator with a focus on what’s best for all students. She is a strong advocate for teachers and public education. To her cabinet leadership team, she is a trusted guide, role model, and friend.”


Dr. Joe Forgey, the school board president of Noblesville Schools, agrees that Niedermeyer’s strength comes from her ability to connect with people.


“I think the highlight of Dr. Niedermeyer is her incredible people skills,” Forgey said. “She can handle everything up and down the ladder and make people feel very comfortable and engaged.”


Cooke agrees that Niedermeyer is skilled in interpersonal communication and thrives in building relationships with others.


“Despite having an incredibly busy job serving over 10,000 students, 1,800 staff members, a community of 70,000 members and a budget of over $126 million, Dr. Niedermeyer is a big believer in regularly sending handwritten thank you and congratulation notes,” Cooke said. “My guess is she’s probably written a thousand or more during her time as superintendent.”


NHS senior Delaney Shoemaker, who has worked with Niedermeyer for the past several years through her involvement with the Noblesville Schools Education Foundation (NSEF), says that her relationship with Niedermeyer was integral to her decisions for her own future.


“I want to be a teacher at Noblesville, so having her as a resource —especially one that I felt comfortable using— has been great,” Shoemaker said. “She has to take care of all the students in the district and is responsible for their success, and she cares about the success of every single one of the students.”


Niedermeyer says that out of all of her career accomplishments, she’s most proud of the relationships she has formed with students, staff, parents, and community members.


“Noblesville Schools is filled with some of the most intellectual, compassionate, and courageous people I have ever worked with,” Niedermeyer said. “Together, we have accomplished many things that will have a lasting impact on this district and community.”


Forgey says that Niedermeyer regularly works with people from all corners of the community, and is particularly skilled within the way she conducts herself.


“I think she’s done a really good job of educating all the children to find a place in life where they can be their best them,” Forgey said. “She’s done that with good fiscal management, and she’s done it with an incredible amount of grace. She’s an incredible, graceful person in the way she delivers everything— from speaking to the janitors to talking to the governor, and I’m sure if the President walked in, she could handle him too.”


One of the multiple community outreach initiatives Niedermeyer introduced was Superintendent Table Talk, which provided an opportunity for active communication between district management and the Noblesville community. Forgey views this accomplishment as a mark of her strong leadership.


“She will meet down at the coffee shop… and will take all comers who have questions,” Forgey said of the Table Talk initiative. “[She does] not hide in her office, but she puts herself out there for people who agree and also for people who may have a disagreement with how she does things. She’s not afraid to meet them eyeball to eyeball.”


Niedermeyer’s calm disposition in the face of conflict is noted as one of her biggest strengths by many of her colleagues.


“She is widely considered one of the most respected superintendents in the state and one of the most respected leaders in the Noblesville community,” Cooke said.


NHS senior Anna Schlueter has worked with Niedermeyer for the past two years as a student member of the NSEF. She sees Niedermeyer as kind, supportive, and incredibly invested in Noblesville Schools.


“She really has demonstrated the responsibility of being in a leadership position but also the heart you need to have for a leadership position,” Schlueter said.


Niedermeyer has worked for 38 years in public education, and she said it has been a joy to work in Noblesville Schools.


“Fun, impactful, inspiring, heartwarming, humbling, ever-changing, challenging and rewarding,” Niedermeyer said while describing her career. “I have truly enjoyed meeting and working with so many amazing students in Noblesville Schools.”


A common theme in how community members speak of Niedermeyer is the wide space she will leave when she retires from her position, and how the new superintendent will be faced with big shoes to fill.


“She’s going to be greatly missed,” Forgey said.


Niedermeyer said plans for her retirement include spending more time with family, traveling, hiking, reading, and trying new recipes. Community members agree that she has earned her rest, but Niedermeyer still had some parting advice for Noblesville Schools students, particularly for high school students.


“There are so many varied learning opportunities available at NHS. Explore these options and find what you are passionate about and then go for it. If you find out it is not what you expected, then shift gears and try something different. This is the time to discover and experience,” Niedermeyer said. “Eventually you will figure out what is a good fit for you then you can pursue it with dedication and perseverance. I hope you all find a career path that you love because there is nothing better.”