Salem School Division Superintendent, Dr. Curtis Hicks, is pleased to announce that veteran employee Scott Habeeb has been named the Coordinator of Alternative and Online Programs. In this newly created position, Habeeb will oversee alternative education programs for students in grades 6-12 and will coordinate a K-12 online academy partnership with Virginia Virtual, serving nonresident students from across the Commonwealth.
“Scott Habeeb has spent the past 26 years serving the Salem community as a teacher, coach, and administrator,” Hicks said. “During that time, more than 8,000 students have benefitted from his ability to support and build on the culture of excellence that permeates Salem High School.”
Habeeb began his Salem High School journey when he was hired straight out of Virginia Tech for his first teaching job in 1997. After seven years as a history instructor, he was named assistant principal in 2004 and in 2013, he replaced John Hall as the school’s principal.
“Salem High School has been a second home to me, and this faculty has been my extended family for 26 years, which is nearly my entire adult life,” Habeeb said. “I am so thankful for the many mentors and friends I have here and have had here over the years. While I'm incredibly excited about what's next for me, I know I will miss working alongside each of these wonderful people every day.”
During his time in administration, Salem High School has been viewed as a leader in innovation. While some educators were invited to participate in the White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools, others were named Regional and State Teachers of the Year. The school also added Career and Technical Education opportunities in Cosmetology, Health Sciences, Technology Education, Welding, and Computer Science, and expanded workplace-learning experiences through job shadowing, apprenticeships, pathway projects, and internships.
“Our student body has become more diverse during my 19 years in leadership here, and Salem High School has intentionally created spaces of welcome for all students,” Habeeb said. “We have expanded clubs, classes, teams, programs, and staff as part of a purposeful effort to make sure every single student regardless of race, country of origin, disability, religion, gender, or orientation can find a home and experience excellence here.”
Earlier this school year, Salem High School was named a Special Olympics Unified Champion School. This honor is bestowed upon schools that have an inclusive school climate and exude a sense of collaboration, engagement, and respect for all members of the student body and staff. Salem was one of just 16 schools in the Commonwealth to earn the honor.
“It's rare these days to have the honor of serving as a high school leader for nearly two decades,” Habeeb said. “Colleagues I've respected over the years have told me I would know when the time was right to make a change and that I should trust my instincts and take that next step. I know the timing is right and am very thankful that Dr. Hicks honored my request to pursue this new position.”
During the final years of his tenure as Salem High School’s principal, Habeeb and his staff successfully steered the student body through the uncertainty of the pandemic and three years of constant construction and renovation improvements throughout the building.
“As a former high school principal, I understand and appreciate Scott's desire to transition into this new role,” Hicks said. “It is impossible to convey the unique responsibility of being a school administrator, so I am excited for Scott and his family. I am certain his ideas and considerable experience will enhance our alternative education and online programs.”
Habeeb’s appointment was approved at Tuesday night’s School Board meeting, and he will transition to his new role on July 1, 2023. The search for a new principal at Salem High School will begin immediately.