About Dr. Stephen Zrike

Dr. Zrike came to us from Holyoke Public Schools where he served as Receiver/Superintendent. He previously served as the Superintendent of Schools in Wakefield, Massachusetts and Chief of Elementary Schools for the Pilsen-Little Village Network in the Chicago Public Schools. He was responsible for leading the instructional improvement efforts for 26 schools and approximately 18,000 students.

In addition to his experience in Chicago, Dr. Zrike also served the Boston Public Schools as the turnaround principal of the William Blackstone Elementary School, an inquiry facilitator and leadership coach for four Boston schools, and as principal of both the William Ohrenberger Elementary School and John Philbrick Elementary School. Dr. Zrike’s teaching career began in Massachusetts’ Andover Public School District, as a fifth-grade teacher. He received his doctorate from the Urban Superintendents’ Program and his Master’s Degrees in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Zrike also holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College.

A Message from the Superintendent

It is a privilege to serve the Salem community as the superintendent of schools. It is apparent that I have joined an invested and student‐centered community. It is inspiring to see the pride that parents, teachers, community leaders, partner organizations and above all, students have for their schools.

Since I began on July 1, 2020, our first priority has been to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff members. That’s why we’ve put several robust safety measures in place to ensure that we are able to reopen our schools safely this year. All schools, staff, and families are asked to abide by our Health Handbook

Our charge this year is the pursuit of educational excellence through equity. Throughout the year, we will be anchored by 4 key priorities that are linked to the SPS district’s strategic plan:

Deepen the Implementation of our Instructional Priorities: We must continue to establish welcoming environments, adapt texts, emphasize comprehensible input and facilitate meaningful interactions if we are able to meet the needs of all SPS learners.  

Create Engaging Learning Experiences: We must hook students into new ideas and encourage them to become independent and motivated learners.

Strengthen Social Emotional Supports: We must provide additional training and ongoing support to staff to more effectively work with students struggling with mental health and the impact of trauma.

Aggressively Become an Anti-racist Organization: We must genuinely become an organization that actively dismantles systems that perpetuate racism. 

Along the way, I hope to meet many of you and look forward to learning more about our schools and ways that I can help improve learning for all in the coming months and years (See my district entry plan). Communication is key to our success. I aim to keep you informed and engaged every step of the way. Here are some way that you can follow along:

I look forward to connecting with you soon!

Sincerely, 

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Dr. Stephen Zrike
Superintendent