Principal Announcements for SHS and Bates

Principal Announcements for SHS and Bates
Posted on 04/14/2020
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Salem High School

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr. Samantha Meier as the principal of Salem High School. Dr. Meier has been serving as the school’s interim principal since July 8, 2019.

Last week incoming Superintendent Dr. Stephen Zrike and I interviewed three finalists who were selected by the screening committee for this important role at Salem High School, and I ultimately chose Dr. Samantha Meier for the principal position.

Though the current Massachusetts state of emergency and global pandemic guidelines wouldn’t allow for on-site visits or in-person meetings, we are confident that the process we embarked on was solid and allowed ample input from stakeholders and, ultimately, led to the hiring of Dr. Meier who has the necessary skills to lead Salem High School going forward.

Dr. Meier previously served the Revere Public Schools in various leadership roles, spanning 2006 to 2019. Most recently, Dr. Meier had served as a deputy principal (Revere HS) and principal (Garfield MS). She received her undergraduate degree at Cornell University and her doctorate at UMASS Boston

Dr. Meier has worked diligently since joining the Salem High School community to continue the work of high expectations for all students, opportunities for college, career and vocational education and family and community engagement.  She is committed to leading the high school into a new era of teacher leadership, student voice and a positive learning environment for all who enter our Salem High School community.  Please join me in wishing Dr. Meier success as she leads our flagship school. 

Bates Elementary School

It is with great pleasure that I announce the promotion of Gavin Softic to the role of principal of Bates Elementary School beginning July 1st, 2020.

Currently serving as assistant principal at Bates, Gavin joined Salem Public Schools in 2011 and previously served as the Coordinator of Specialized Instruction, Director of the Special Education Extended Year Program, team chairperson and a special education teacher.

Gavin is committed to empowering educators to build school-wide accountability that aligns with district priorities, including developing positive, ongoing family and community relationships. In his roles within Salem Public Schools, he has developed systems and structures to support safe learning communities and is committed to creating a culture in which students are exposed to student-centered and culturally relevant lessons and activities in all learning environments.

Mr. Softic was recently a finalist for the principal position at Bentley Academy Innovation School and went through a rigorous interview process with community members, teachers, and families that allowed us to dig deep into his skills and experience. This interview process allowed me to have confidence in Gavin’s ability to lead Bates Elementary School. 

Gavin has earned the respect and support of the students, teachers, and families of the Bates School community to now lead the school as the new principal. I know Gavin will continue the mission and vision of academic excellence and support for the social and emotional learning for all students. Please join me in wishing him success in the years ahead.


Kathleen Smith Signature

Kathleen A. Smith, J.D.
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