Salem School Division Superintendent, Dr. Alan Seibert, is pleased to announce that Amanda Gibson has been recommended to be the new principal at West Salem Elementary School. Gibson is expected to receive formal approval from the School Board when it convenes this evening. She will fill the void created by Debbie Carroll’s upcoming retirement at the end of the current school year.
“I am honored and humbled to be named the next principal at West Salem Elementary School,” says Gibson. “I look forward to carrying on the rich traditions of our school and growing together as a learning community.”
Gibson and Carroll have served as West Salem’s leadership team since 2013. When Carroll hands over the keys to the school on July 1, she will exit with over 30 years of service to Salem’s young people. She began her educational career in Salem as a teacher at G.W. Carver Elementary in 1989 and transitioned into administration at East Salem Elementary in 2004. After spending six years as the assistant principal at East Salem, she moved to West Salem in 2010.
“I cannot say enough about Ms. Carroll and her dedication to not only West Salem, but our division and our entire community,” says Seibert. “She and Amanda are passionate professionals who care deeply about the young children who are entrusted in their care each day.”
Gibson spent two years of her career in Salem as a teacher on assignment helping to formulate innovative methods for measuring student growth and teacher compensation models. She spearheaded the ”Growth Project” initiatives that were recognized by the Commonwealth and resulted in the division receiving $850,000 in grant money for teacher salaries during the recession.
In addition, Amanda has served Salem City Schools as a third-grade teacher at West Salem and as the division's Gifted Coordinator from 2005-2011. From 1998-2005, she also taught fourth and fifth graders in both Salem and Chesapeake.
“I feel very blessed to have worked alongside Ms. Carroll and to have the opportunity to collaborate with such amazing faculty, staff, students and families here at West Salem Elementary School, both in the past and as we move forward,” says Gibson.
Gibson, who is originally from Franklin, Virginia in Southampton County earned both her bachelor’s and master's degrees from Virginia Tech in Education, and she has endorsements from Mary Baldwin College and Radford University in gifted instruction and administration and supervision.
Her Hokie roots run deep, as she is married to fellow Tech graduate Rob Gibson. He was a pitcher on the Virginia Tech baseball team while the two were in school. The couple has three children who currently attend Salem City Schools. Their son is a student at Andrew Lewis Middle and their twin daughters attend West Salem Elementary.