Salem School Division Superintendent, Dr. Curtis Hicks, is pleased to announce that the Salem School Board has formally approved two assistant superintendents for the division. Jamie Soltis will transition to the assistant superintendent position while Jennifer Dean will become the division’s assistant superintendent for instruction.
Soltis has been with the division since July 1, 2019, when he became Salem’s director of instruction and career readiness. Dean has been a fixture in Salem education since 2014 when she joined the central office staff as supervisor of instructional technology and accountability. She has been director of instruction and innovation the past two years.
“We are so fortunate to have Jamie and Jennifer leading instruction, innovation, and career readiness in our division,” says Hicks. “They both have the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to support our schools, as we strive to excel at everything we do.”
Soltis has spent his entire professional career in southwest Virginia. He has been a teacher, assistant principal and principal serving families in Floyd County, Vinton, and western Roanoke County. He was the principal of his alma mater, Glenvar High School, before moving into the Roanoke County central office in 2018 as director of secondary instruction.
He graduated with honors from Longwood University with a degree in Biology. Soltis also holds a Master of Education degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia, and he is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Radford University.
“I would like to thank Dr. Hicks and the Salem City School Board for providing me with the opportunity to continue to serve the students and staff of Salem City Schools in this new role,” says Soltis. “It is an honor to work in a school division with so many amazing people who dedicate themselves daily to meeting the needs of every student, every day.”
Dean earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Roanoke College and her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Radford University. From 1995-2014 she was an educator for Roanoke City Public Schools and served various communities in a variety of roles. She was a teacher at Garden City and Crystal Spring elementary schools, and she served as an assistant principal and principal of Westside Elementary. In addition, she was an instructional technology resource teacher and an instructional coach and teacher mentor for the division.
“I consider it a gift that I am able to work with such dedicated educators and families in a community that is focused on student success,” says Dean. “I look forward to having the opportunity to serve and collaborate with such amazing faculty, staff, students, and families as we move forward. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to serve in this role with Salem City Schools.”
Most recently, Soltis has worked closely with the Career and Technical Education section of the division developing apprenticeships and work opportunities for students with local businesses and industries. Dean has been overseeing assessments in all four elementary schools, mentoring the growth of Salem’s preschool program, and creating a variety of advanced computer science opportunities for students as young as 4-years-old.
“They have both worked hard to establish the relationships with our schools and the community necessary to ensure we are all working together to promote excellent outcomes for all of our students,” says Hicks.
The school board formally approved the appointments at its Tuesday night meeting. Both Soltis and Dean will begin their new roles immediately.