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The school board filled posts at Salem High School and West Salem Elementary.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Salem School Board has tapped two school system veterans to become new principals, including a new leader for Salem High School.
Salem Assistant Principal Scott Habeeb was named the high school’s new principal during a school board meeting Tuesday. He’s been an assistant principal at the school since 2004 and before that had been a teacher at the school since 1997. He takes the place of longtime leader John Hall, who is retiring.
The board also named Debbie Carroll , an assistant principal at West Salem Elementary School, as that school’s new principal. Carroll, who has worked for Salem schools since 1989, will replace retiring Principal Trula Byington .
Both will begin their new assignments July 1.
“These two new principals know their buildings, know their teachers and have clear vision on where we expect them to take the schools,” Superintendent Alan Seibert said.
He said he knew of the vacancies at the end of January and selecting principals now ensures they can help with staffing and scheduling, making for a smooth transition.
The positions were filled internally without soliciting outside candidates. Seibert said the system generally tries to cultivate leaders from within.
“We believe the best indicator of future success is past success. As teachers, as assistant principals, Debbie and Scott both have a legacy of very good work,” he said. “They are very committed to community.”
Habeeb, 38, comes to the role with deep ties to the school and significant education experience, including years running an educational consulting firm.
Currently three of his four children are at the high school, including his 4-year-old son Matthew, who attends pre-K there through an early childhood education program.
“Salem High School is an amazing high school. I have truly been blessed to be part of this faculty,” he said. “I really can’t imagine living or working anywhere other than Salem, Virginia.”
Habeeb said he’s inheriting a high-performing school and his job will be to continue meeting high standards.
“I don’t really have some agenda of change. What I do want to do is continue the tradition of excellence,” he said.
While Habeeb has been an administrator at the school for almost 10 years, becoming principal will mean new responsibilities, he said, such as hiring and the budget.
He also said he doesn’t plan to do consulting work in the fall while he makes the transition into the new job, but that consulting has been important in helping gain perspective while working with other school systems. Habeeb said he has traveled all over the country consulting, but noted it doesn’t take him away from school much.
He started the organization with Seibert and another teacher about a decade ago, although Seibert divested in 2006 before becoming superintendent. Habeeb said his group works with schools on creating inspirational classrooms and cultures where teachers go beyond content. He said the work has become a hobby of his.
“It helps me stay fresh and stay focused,” he said.
At West Salem Elementary School, Carroll will take the school’s helm after serving as its assistant principal since 2010. Prior to that she was the assistant principal at East Salem Elementary. She started her career in 1989 as a teacher at G.W. Carver Elementary.
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