Welcome Back, Teachers!

A Welcome Message to Salem Public Schools Faculty and Staff
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August 19, 2019

Dear Salem Public Schools Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back to the 2019-2020 School Year. I am looking forward to the upcoming school year for our Salem School community as we prepare to welcome more than 4,100 students to our classrooms and schools across the district. I hope you enjoyed a restful and rejuvenating summer and were able to pursue personal and professional interests.

For me, the summer was filled with some new adventures and some familiar activities I have enjoyed for many summers. I spent the month of July moving to Salem, exploring the beautiful North Shore with all its historic ports, museums, galleries, shops and restaurants and a vibrant and bustling downtown Salem. I was invited to tour a tall ship visiting from Delaware and anchored on Pickering Wharf and am finally getting around the city without using my GPS! Quite an accomplishment for someone who has lived on the South Shore her entire life. 

I also spent time in Falmouth on Cape Cod. I love swimming in Old Silver Beach, where the average water temperature is 70 degrees, the views picturesque, and the Shining Sea Bike Path both challenging and fun.

Having been a proud member of the Massachusetts public teaching force for over 42 years, I am looking forward to working this year beside every one of you. As we begin the new school year, we must unite on every front to support each other and to educate, inspire and assure our Salem community that we are a dedicated, committed and well-trained educational team. I know you will do everything you can to support our students, develop strong interpersonal relationships, and take part in overseeing extracurricular activities that allow our students to reach their highest potential.

In talking with parents and community members in Salem one thing is clear, our community is proud of our well-maintained schools, the challenging curricula we provide for all students, opportunities for athletics, music and the arts, and strong partnerships with businesses and school partners.

I want to thank our Mayor, School Committee and elected officials who are committed to making sure our children in Salem receive a quality education, opportunities to access educational supports, and access to highly qualified professional staff. 

I commit to each of you that I will work to make sure you have district teams supporting you every day while you remain focused on providing academic excellence, a safe and supportive educational environment, and classrooms filled with inquiry, exploration and fun!

During the year ahead, please take the time to introduce yourself and welcome me into your classrooms where the real work happens for our students. 

I look forward to welcoming you at our annual Convocation which will begin at 8:00 a.m. on August 27, 2019, in the Salem High School Auditorium. From 7:30 to 8 a.m., we will enjoy a light breakfast and networking with friends and colleagues. 

I also ask each of you to support a can drive to stock the shelves of our local school and community food pantries, a community outreach effort to begin the school year on a positive note working together for the common good. Everyone who offers a donation will receive a raffle ticket for prizes to be announced during our annual gathering.

I look forward to a strong start together to what I know will be a positive year of collaboration for the Salem Public Schools family and community at large.


Kathleen A. Smith JD

Interim Superintendent of Schools



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