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Salem Superintendent, Dr. Alan Seibert, announced this morning that the Salem School Board has formally approved two new assistant principals for the division, effective July 1, 2017.

At Salem High School, Bridget Nelson will replace the retiring Bill Gerrol and at Andrew Lewis Middle School, Matthew Coe will fill the assistant principal slot created by the promotion of Jamie Garst to the position of school principal.

Nelson began her employment with the Salem School Division in 2013, and she is currently a teacher and the Special Education Department Chair. The Pennsylvania native earned her Bachelor’s degree from Lock Haven University and acquired her Master of Arts degree from Mary Baldwin College in K-12 Special Education. In addition, she has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Radford University. Nelson taught special education for eight years at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Roanoke City and was a leader in Roanoke’s special education programs before coming to Salem. This is her first role in administration.

“I am excited about the opportunity to increase my role in supporting the students, families and staff members at Salem High School,” says Nelson. “Salem is a wonderful community with a long history of excellence, especially in education, and I am so proud to have the chance to uphold the longstanding traditions that make the city so special.”

Her predecessor, Bill Gerrol, has been an assistant principal at Salem High School since 1992. He also was a principal and assistant principal in Craig County and a teacher in Petersburg and Narrows. His retirement will take effect on July 1.

“Bill Gerrol has played an integral role in Salem High School’s success for nearly a quarter of a century,” says Scott Habeeb, Salem High School Principal. “Like Bill, Ms. Nelson is the type of educator who makes those around her better. She loves young people, supports teachers, and she has earned the confidence of the Salem High School community through her ability to work with all students and parents.”

Coe grew up in the town of Lebanon in Russell County and secured his undergraduate degree from Emory and Henry. He then earned his Master of Arts degree in history as well as his Educational Leadership and Educational Specialist degrees from Virginia Tech.

“I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity to work with Mr. Garst, the wonderful staff, and students at Andrew Lewis Middle School,” says Coe. “I hope to carry on the Salem tradition of excellence.” Coe has a wealth of teaching and administration experiences, including 13 years of teaching at James River, Northside and William Byrd high schools. He also has served in the roles of athletic director, assistant principal and principal at Craig County High School and William Byrd Middle School. “Based on his already proven track record of effective leadership, I am confident that he will be an outstanding asset for our staff, students and parents,” says Garst. “We are thrilled to have a person of
his caliber joining the Andrew Lewis family.”

The School Board formally approved both appointments following the closed session portion of Tuesday night’s meeting.

Dr. Alan Seibert
Salem School Division Superintendent
(540) 389-0130 – office

Mike Stevens
City of Salem Communications Director
(540) 375-4112 – office
(540) 353-2041 – cell