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Parks & Rec News

MAIN OFFICE PHONE:  (540) 375-3057|HOURS:  M-F 8am-5pm
MAIN OFFICE LOCATION:  620 Florida Street, Salem, VA 24153

Published on Saturday, May 21, 2022

Garst Named State's Top Middle School Principal


Salem City Public Schools’ principal Jamie Garst has been named the 2022 Outstanding Middle School Principal of Virginia by a panel of principals and superintendents representing the Principal Awards Committee of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals (VASSP). The announcement was made this Saturday morning.

Mr. Garst has served as principal at Andrew Lewis Middle School since 2017. Prior to becoming principal he served as assistant principal at Andrew Lewis for four years.

VASSP recognizes exemplary performance among middle and high school principals from the Commonwealth’s 132 school divisions. School principals are nominated and chosen by their peers. Nominations are based upon exemplary performance and outstanding leadership. A panel of education leaders including principals and superintendents interview the finalists and recommend their selection for approval to the VASSP Board of Directors.

“You would be hard pressed to find anyone more invested in the success of Salem’s school children than Jamie Garst, said Division Superintendent Dr. Curtis Hicks. “He is a Salem High School graduate who made the decision to come back home and help mold and educate the next generation. He has earned the respect and the admiration of his colleagues and students with his selfless style of leadership, and it has been a pleasure to watch his development from a young chemistry teacher to a seasoned administrator."

Garst is one of three Virginia administrators to receive an award from the VASSP this year. The organization annually recognizes an Outstanding High School Principal of Virginia, an Outstanding Middle School Principal of Virginia, and an Outstanding Secondary School Assistant Principal of Virginia.

However, Garst is unique among his fellow award recipients. He was selected from the two winning principals as the Principal of the Year and will represent the state in Washington, D.C. and be considered in the selection of the National Principal of the Year – a program sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

"The division is very proud that he has been recognized in this manner,” says Hicks.

Garst will be honored for his accomplishments June 27-29, 2022, at the 94th Annual Virginia Middle and High School Principals Conference & Exposition, in Richmond.


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