The Salem School Board honored some of the Division’s top students at Tuesday’s night monthly meeting.
Eliza Bain, a sixth-grader at Andrew Lewis Middle School captured this year’s title on February 11.
Runner-up Maya Makked, from East Salem, joined this year’s other finalists Emily Snow from West Salem, Hope Wimmer from South Salem and G.W. Carver’s, Allison Oyler
The Board also honored two incredibly deep thinking students from Salem High School.
Jacob Beedle (left) and Thomas Legg (right) each earned second place honors at the recent Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology’s Project Forum. Beedle work was in Plant Sciences and Legg’s in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology.
The Salem School Division is pleased to announce that Kristyn Shepherd has been named principal at G.W. Carver Elementary School. The formal board approval of her internal promotion was made official at last night’s School Board meeting. She will begin her new position on July 1, 2014.
“I am very excited to join the faculty and staff at G.W. Carver as their new principal,” says Shepherd. “They have an outstanding teaching staff and a reputation of always putting students first. I look forward to working with assistant principal, Tomi Nave, to help the teachers continue that tradition of excellence.”
Shepherd has been an integral part of the Salem School Division since 1998 when she was first hired as a Special Education teacher at South Salem. After spending a dozen years in that role, she then became the division’s coordinating teacher for Special Education, and in 2010 she was appointed to her current job as assistant principal at East Salem Elementary.
Shepherd, who acquired both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Special Education from Radford University, will replace Dr. Joe Coleman, who is retiring at the end of the current school year. “Kristyn Shepherd is in the midst of a distinguished career and both her prior experience and considerable expertise were abundantly evident during the interview phase of the search process,” says Dr. Alan Seibert, Salem Superintendent of Schools. “G.W. Carver is a school with a rich history and a long legacy of extraordinary leaders and devoted teachers who have served generations of young people in Salem. Mrs. Shepherd will honor that history and build upon it in the years to come.”
In addition to Shepherd’s promotion, the Salem City School Board also approved the appointment of Hunter Routt as a new assistant principal at Salem High School.
“I can't speak highly enough of the faculty and staff of Salem High School and it is their commitment to excellence for all students that makes me so proud to accept this position,” says Routt. “I'm humbled by the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful team that has such a strong commitment to Salem's children.”
Routt has served a number of roles with the Salem School Division since coming on board in 1994. She has been a teacher, summer school principal, gifted coordinator and International Baccalaureate coordinator.
“Hunter brings to us 20 years of experience, an impressive instructional leadership background, amazing interpersonal skills, and, most importantly, a true desire to love and serve young people,” says Scott Habeeb, Salem High School principal. “As our International Baccalaureate coordinator, she already has made a positive impact on our school. In this new leadership capacity, she will have an even greater opportunity to enhance and grow the student-centered family culture we already have in place.”
Routt earned her Bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from Roanoke College and her Master’s in Educational administration from the University of Scranton. She replaces Sandy Hadaway, who recently retired after 31 years with the Salem School Division.
The Salem School Board approved one central office appointment, effective July 1, 2014. Jennifer Dean will be the division’s new Supervisor of Instructional Technology and Accountability. Her primary role will be to work with administrators and teachers to improve the division's use of testing data to inform and improve instruction.
This new position will merge the Assessment Oversight responsibilities that are currently handled by Dr. Coleman with the Instructional Technology leadership functions that were previously managed by an instructional technology resource teacher, who has retired.
“I am really looking forward to joining the City of Salem School team,” says Dean. “Student academic success is my passion and the opportunity to work with students, teachers and principals within this role will be exciting.’
Dean earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Roanoke College and her Master’s in
Educational Leadership from Radford University. Since 1995, she has been an educator for Roanoke City Public Schools, most recently serving as the Principal of Westside Elementary.
“We are excited to welcome Mrs. Dean to the Salem City School Division,” says Curtis Hicks, Salem’s Director of Secondary Education. “Her knowledge and experiences in the areas of technology, assessment and data analysis will benefit staff and students as we continue to strive to unlock the individual potential of every child.”
Dr. Alan Seibert
Salem School Division
(540) 389-0130 - office
City of Salem
The 2014 Salem School Division Teacher of the Year is a special recipient for a number of reasons, including her desire to help boys and girls in special education become success stories and her passion for positively molding elementary school students at G.W. Carver.
“Personally, I hope that I provide a caring and forgiving environment in my classroom,” says Debbie Hughes, Salem’s Teacher of the Year. “I strive to build my students’ confidence and self-esteem and encourage participation. I try to instill in my class that it’s important to learn from your mistakes and treat one another with respect, and I try to never forget that I am taking care of someone else’s children.”
Hughes has taught third graders at G.W. Carver Elementary for the past 14 years and she considers that somewhat ironic since that particular age group was by far her favorite during her year-long student teaching requirement as an undergraduate in college.
“I love that third graders are still very excited about learning, and I enjoy the curriculum,” she says. “Even though it is quite rigorous, most students achieve great success and growth, which is very rewarding.”
Third grade is the first year in which students actually receive letter grades in the classroom and experience the SOL tests. It’s also a time when Hughes works extremely hard to build self-confidence in her young pupils.
“Third graders are still young enough to where they want to please you all the time, yet they can be very independent at this age,” she says. “Sometimes they are very afraid of the third grade and it’s my job to show them they can do it and that everything is going to be alright.”
Hughes was born in West Virginia, but spent most of her life in Arlington before she headed off to college and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Virginia Tech.
“While I was interviewing for my first job with the assistant superintendent in Warren County, the Special Ed. Supervisor overheard our conversation as I was talking about my interest in special education and my work at Camp Easter Seals,” she says. “They were desperate for special ed. teachers back then and they hired me without a degree and then paid for me to get my Master’s in special education.”
Hughes would teach during the day and then ride with other teachers back and forth from Front Royal to James Madison University to take classes at night. She did the majority of her course work at J.M.U. and then finished her requirements and graduated from Marymount University in Arlington. After a couple of years of 7th and 8th grade special ed. instruction in Warren County she taught middle school special ed. students in Fairfax before eventually moving to Salem.
By the time she and her husband, Jack, arrived in Salem in 1996, she had left the classroom to raise their four children. She did some tutoring and eventually began helping as a substitute teacher at all Salem’s six schools. Fourteen year ago, she returned to the classroom full-time in the Salem School Division as a third grade teacher and she’s been shaping young lives ever since.
“I always wanted to be a teacher,” she says. “I think all little girls play and pretend to be teachers and it just never left me, plus I always loved school.” At Carver, Hughes believes she is truly making a difference in the lives of young people.
“G.W. Carver provides the perfect climate for any student,” she says. “It is a beautiful, spacious school with a very caring and diverse group of people. We have a supportive administration and staff members who truly care about what is best for our children.”
Hughes is a firm believer in the African Proverb that says “It Takes a Village” to raise a child and she credits not only the administration, but her fellow third grade teachers. “Mrs. May, Mrs. Raines, Mrs. Travitz, and I have worked together for six years now and we collaborate daily sharing ideas, successes, and frustrations,” she says. “As a team we produce tremendous results and do all we can to bring out the best in our students.”
“Debbie has been an asset to the third grade team at Carver from the beginning,” says Joe Coleman, G.W. Carver Principal. “With 25 years of experience, her knowledge of curriculum, differentiation, developmental needs of children and her true understanding of special education provide the foundation needed to effectively reach all students.”
The administration at Carver has high praise for Hughes’ creativity and flexible thinking as well as her exemplary professionalism and her desire to follow her students’ successes as they move forward. “There are days I can sense my students are just not with me and then there are times when I am teaching and all eyes are on me and hands are raised with enthusiasm to answer questions or to give some input into a discussion,” she says. “That’s when I stop and think that this is a wonderful job and I truly love it.” Debbie and her husband have four grown children who graduated from Salem High School. All six teachers will be honored by the School Board during a special reception on March 25. The five Teachers of the Year representing the other five Salem schools are:
Carol Shields - Andrew Lewis Middle School
Laken Harrell - East Salem Elementary
Grant Smythers - Salem High School
Sandra Kelley - South Salem Elementary
Marcie Flinchum Atkins - West Salem Elementary
H. Alan Seibert
City of Salem
Superintendent of Schools
(540) 389-0130 - office
City of Salem
The Salem School Board officially honored one of its most valuable players tonight as the board passed Resolution 219 recognizing outgoing member Sally Southard. She served 17 years on the board, including an unprecedented 14 as the board's chair before stepping down at the end of December.
The Salem School Board recognized the efforts of this year's United Way campaign in the division at its November 12 meeting. More than $16,000 was raised during the campaign by using everything from traditional pledges to pie throwing. Student contributions were up 50 percent from the previous year.
(Left to Right - Dr. Mike Chiglinsky, Artice Ledbetter, Debbie Carter, Sandy Wierzbiz from the United Way, Sharon Franklin, Sally Southard and David Preston)
Curtis Hicks was honored today by RAYSAC, as he received the organization's "Outstanding Professional Service Award." The Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition bestows this honor annually on a deserving individual who is paid to do prevention work, but goes above and beyond the call of duty and far exceeds his or her professional requirement by exhibiting a strong dedication to the work of prevention. Hicks, who serves as Salem's Director of Secondary Education, was instrumental in getting the random drug testing policy instituted for any and all students who participate in Virginia High School League sanctioned events ranging from football to forensics.
The School Board passed Resolution 212 honoring the Salem High School Yearbook staff for once again being named a Gold Crown award Winner
The Roanoke Chapter of the Air Force Association honors an outstanding teacher from the greater Roanoke area who demonstrates excellence in the field of aerospace education, science, technology, engineering, or math, through their annual Aerospace Teacher of the Year Program. Salem high school's Sarah Gerrol is this year's recipient
Dylan Wade, a senior at Salem High School was honored for being selected as a finalist in the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The Competition has engaged more than 250,000 young people since its inception in 1983.
Sally Southard congratulates Katelyn Barker, a senior at Salem High School, for being selected as a member of the All-Virginia Chorus. Katelyn’s selection represents the highest honor in the Commonwealth of Virginia for choral students
The School Board passed Resolution 213 honoring the Salem High School Delphi Magazine staff for being named a Silver Crown award Winner
School Board Chair, Sally Southard, congratulates Sam Valentine, a senior at Salem High School, for being selected to participate in the American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall,
The boys and girls VHSL Division IV State Championship Basketball teams were honored with Resolutions 209 and 210
The board recognized and congratulate Salem High School's Derek Wray for meeting and exceeding industry standards in Automobile Maintenance and Light Repair. As a result of Mr. Wray’s work, the Salem High School Auto Service Program has been accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
The 8-Time VHSL State Championship Forensics Team was honored with Resolution 211
The Salem School Board recognized its top spellers. Among the five school champions who were crowned this year, Ben Newman, the Salem City Schools 2012-2013 Spelling Bee Champion was on hand along with South Salem's Makayla Broughman - this year's runner-up and West Salem's Jenna Staton. Each was congratulated by the board members. Newman will compete for a spot in the national spelling bee this Saturday.
Salem City School Division recognized Iliana Pack, a 4th grader at South Salem Elementary School, and Georgia Brown, a 4th grader at and East Salem Elementary School, for winning the Second Annual 8th District Art Contest. Delegate Greg Habeeb announced and recognized the winners on Thursday, February 7th at the state Capitol in Richmond. Both students are taught by Sarah Meadows, who teaches art at South Salem and East Salem Elementary Schools.
The Salem School Board honored one of it's own Tuesday night as Cindy Neathawk received some well deserved recognition for her 15 years of service on the board. Neathawk, who retired from the board in December, was presented two resolutions - one from the board and another from the Salem Educational Foundation. Besides serving as a board member and vice-chair during her tenure, Neathawk also was instrumental in getting nurses in each of Salem's six schools and helping keep learning environments up to date through her tireless work on the Facilities committee.
Sally Southard and Cindy Neathawk and the resolution the board presented her.
Tommy McDonald from the Salem Educational Foundation presents Cindy Neathawk with a resolution