Saludos, Welcome to the Salem Public Schools DEIE Page.

My name is Laura Assade, a proud graduate of the Salem High School class of 2003, and I am honored to serve as the district’s Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Engagement. 

My professional journey started in our district in 2021 as the Family Engagement Manager. I came to the district with knowledge and experience working at the municipal level and previous public school experience. From 2015 -2021 I served as the Constituent Services Director, Latino Affairs & LGBTQ liaison in the Mayor’s office for the City of Salem.  In this role, I managed complex inquiries and supported residents in accessing critical support and services. I developed and implemented a civic engagement plan to boost Latino participation in city activities, municipal boards and public services. 

In partnership with city departments and community organizations, coordinated the Summer Eats Program and has worked with organizations like  “Love Your Magic” to provide access for young girls of color to an annual conference and workshops on self-awareness and empowerment.  In my work as Communications and Inversant Program Manager for the Chelsea Public Schools from 2009-2015, I was in charge of all parent communication efforts, including managing the district website, calendars and social media. I led a team of parent liaisons and organized community forums.   In this role, I supported families in understanding aspects of the college planning process, including financial literacy and the workforce.

Over the last two years, I assumed responsibility for developing a progressive, culturally responsive family engagement strategy and goals for the Salem Public Schools. Work has been done to collaborate with stakeholders in our district, the city, and neighboring communities.  My knowledge of the Salem community and years of experience engaging and mobilizing families has been pivotal in executing strategic work within the district.  Overseeing efforts to support language access and the district as well as supporting the Parent-Child + Program and now overseeing our efforts in enrollment in our Parent Information Center.

I have worked tirelessly to support Superintendent Zrike to connect with parents on complex student/family/staff concerns and advocacy. In collaboration with the Family Engagement team, School Committee and Executive team members, I supported the establishment of the Superintendent Parent Advisory Council. Along with my Family Engagement team, I have worked on creating efforts to support building leaders, coaching them on how best to establish plans for every school year that align with School Improvement and District Improvement plans and has refined and implemented a district-wide Student/Family welcoming protocol. The Family Engagement team now has tools to collect data, and have a clear understanding of their roles and how to serve all families in the district.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst in Interdisciplinary Studies and hold a Certificate in Translation & Interpretation and am a fellow for DESE’s Influence 100 program, which supports rising leaders of color in education.

Laura Assade
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Salem Public Schools