Weekly Newsletter

Week of April 30, 2020

From the Head of School

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?" "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?" "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said." (A. A. Milne)

Yesterday morning (Wednesday, April 29), the Class of 2020 hosted the traditional Senior-Faculty Breakfast...via Google Hangouts and Zoom. We all gathered at 8:20 to have a welcome and Moravian blessing from Class President Sidney Stearns, and then we were entertained by a music video that had been produced by the breakfast servers in grades 9, 10, and 11. Since they were not able to actually serve breakfast, they each recorded their part and created a piece that not only included the name of every senior but also group pictures from various events. After this, we all broke out into our own breakfast groups to enjoy one-on-one time; some even had the traditional strawberries, cornflakes, and ice cream! It was a great way to start the morning.

We could have decided not to hold this event this year. We could have argued that not being in person or not having the actual menu would lessen the meaning. We could have said that we didn’t have time, didn’t have the energy, or didn’t have the interest. 

But that is not who we are, and that is definitely NOT how the Class of 2020 reacts to challenges: They meet them head-on and conquer them with tenacity, grace, and determination.

May is here, and that means celebrations for all students in all grades. Being in different zip codes, states, and time zones may make things a little tricky, but we are committed to continuing the same traditions that make Salem Academy stand out from any other school. I look forward to sharing these with you throughout the month. Every single day will be exciting!

Far may our song ring clear!

Carol Killebrew


With a few familiar faces and recent graduates, the Salem Academy Admissions Office has created a quick video that will hopefully inspire you. We are Saber Strong, we will continue to uphold our mission statement, and no matter our challenges, we will move forward in conviction. 

Health And Wellness Reminders

Check out our COVID-19 webpage for all campus messages. This webpage is frequently updated and a repository for all messages regarding our COVID-19 plans and outreach


2020 Honor Graduates and Commencement Marshals

We would like to celebrate our 2020 Honor Graduates and Commencement Marshals, which are listed below. Congratulations, Sabers!

  • Freshman: Virginia Dickson & Destiny Hale
  • Sophomores: Margot Burke & Mira Fitch
  • Juniors: Jessie Gentles, Mandy Peake, Sophie Severs, Helen Watson
  • Chief Marshal: Mandy Peake
  • Senior Honor Graduates: Lucy Price (1st) and Mackenzie Culp (2nd)

Advanced Placement Exams

The College Board continues to release information to teachers and to students concerning the digital exam format being used this year due to Covid-19. It is very important that students read all email communications from the College Board as well as let teachers know if there is confusion about any of the directions. 

In the upcoming weeks, before AP exams begin, the AP teacher(s) will facilitate completing a worksheet for each AP exam students are participating in. This worksheet will be an important piece of exam day. 

On May 4th, the College Board will be releasing an AP testing demo. This demo will allow students to practice the different ways to submit their exam responses and to confirm that their testing device will be able to access and run the online exam.

Academy Students Celebrate Women’s History Month

This spring, students in Ms. Lawrence’s Honors Women’s Studies II class researched issues related to Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. As in the past, they shared their findings with the entire student body in a series of presentations during assembly in March (although the final presentation had to be postponed to April because of the pandemic). Today, we would like to share our presentations with the wider Salem community.

This year’s Women’s History Month marked the 100th anniversary of American women gaining the right to vote in federal elections. The theme of International Women’s Day 2020 was “Each for Equal.” Women’s Studies students interviewed several Academy alumnae about Each for Equal. We are grateful to Susan Eshelman, Emily G. Johnston, Abrea Armstrong, and Andrea Passafiume for taking the time to share their interests and accomplishments with us. Their inspirational thoughts and stories were collected and shared with the entire student body. In addition, we conducted a series of interviews with members of different classes to determine what this year’s theme meant to Academy students.

This is what we learned:

Our community believes that an equal world is an enabled world in which students choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, and celebrate women's achievements. Although inequality of the sexes may not seem like a pressing matter within the walls of Salem Academy itself, awareness of the issues faced by women in our own city and around the world is important so that we can promote further change. The best way to fight inequality in our day-to-day lives is to spread awareness of these issues and to show responsibility with our own actions every day. To us, Each for Equal means that our actions and our words have power. Salem students can grow together to become the next generation of positive change. 

In conclusion, students believe that women should support women. By building each other up, we can help create a gender-equal world. We are not passive bystanders in the fight for equality.  We can stand up to the biases we see and face every single day. Everyone has a unique role to play in order to create a world where gender bias has no place.

College Counseling

Senior families, 

Decision Day for colleges has historically been observed on May 1, which is this coming Friday.  In past years, this Decision Day is significant because families would submit a college deposit and begin the journey to attend college in the fall. For many colleges and universities in 2020, this date of May 1st remains the day for families to submit a college deposit. However, due to COVID-19, some colleges that have chosen to change the deposit date this spring. 

Action Steps:

Please be aware NOT all colleges have changed the date. Please communicate with colleges to confirm their deposit due dates.

Students can lose their spots on campus if:

  • a college has a deposit due date of May 1, 2020, &
  • families have not communicated to the college/university prior to May 1 to discuss their situation.  It is extremely important to either deposit or speak to your top schools by May 1st. 

If your student is still uncertain about which college they are going to commit to for fall and some of your choices include a May 1st deadline:

  • Please reach out to those institutions to understand what you need to do to delay a decision and if they will even allow you to do so.

There is a lot of uncertainty right now with the college process and it can be a bit confusing.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. Spong.

Information for Juniors 


The February ACT has been updated on Scoir. This can help guide students as they research colleges this spring. Many colleges now have virtual tours families can do and Scoir has added some videos to colleges as well. 

If students would like to schedule a session to discuss their college application process or go over the Common Application essay, please email Dr. Spong

Virtual College Fair

The NAVIGATE 2020 Virtual Conference and College Fair will host three days of live-stream expert presentations for students and families and a concurrent virtual college fair with fully interactive booths.  Students can chat live with college admissions representatives, helping to find fit.  Students and families have lost opportunities in their college search due to COVID-19.        

This event is free-of-charge to attendees and is designed to help students and colleges connect safely during the COVID-19 crisis.  The event will be live for three days, packed with informative sessions about the college decision process.  During those three days, students can also browse interactive college fair booths, chatting live with admissions representatives.         

After three days of live interactions, this event will remain posted at the event site until the COVID-19 crisis is over.  Students need access to information and this site will remain a robust tool for exploring their options. We hope you can join us at this important event!  Register soon, space is limited.

Student Life

Pathways Counseling Evening Program

Please join Ms. Johnson for our weekly Pathways Evening Program next Wednesday, May 6th, from 7:00-7:45 p.m. We will be discussing practical tools to combat anxiety during remote learning-- whether it’s related to school, COVID-19, feeling stuck at home, or missing friends. The permanent link to the evening program via Zoom can be accessed in the Salem Academy Community Google Classroom. We hope to see you there!

Parents: Helping Teens Cope with Loss

This spring has created a lot of uncertainty for everyone, but particularly for high school students missing milestones and traditions. Read the article that the American Psychological Association posted this week about practical ways parents can help their teen navigate this time. 

Saber Adventures

Saber Adventures

Salem Community

Nominations For The Joel Weston Award For Faculty Excellence

The Parents’ Association of Salem Academy established the Joel Weston Award for Faculty Excellence in memory of Joel Weston and to honor the faculty and staff of Salem Academy. The first award was presented at the Recognition Program in the spring of 1986. The Parents’ Association is providing the opportunity for nominations from students, parents, faculty, and staff. Please review the nomination form for the award’s criteria. If you wish to submit a nomination for a staff or faculty member, please do so by emailing your nomination with supporting statements to Ms. Killebrew at Submissions can also be mailed to Salem Academy (Attn: Carol Killebrew).  Please submit your nomination by April 30.

Theatre Mini Class    

Join Salem Academy for a fun theatre workshop, led by Ms. Ashley Pearson!  The program will be on Wednesday, May 6th at 2:00 pm, and the activity is sponsored by Salem Academy Admissions Office. 

Parents: Join us for a meeting! 

Parents, so many of you have asked to help with student recruitment. Please meet with the Salem Academy Admissions Office via Zoom on Thursday, May 7th at 5:00 pm to learn of some ways you can help support us in recruiting.  Connect with Admissions to ensure the best possible future for Salem Academy!

Share Your Stories: Impact of COVID-19

Salem Academy & College Archives would like to record the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Salem community. We are interested in your stories about:

  • The shift to remote instruction and learning, 
  • Studying and working from home, 
  • The impact of closing residence halls and other campus services and events, 
  • The ways you and your friends and family are staying in touch during this period of social distancing and self-quarantine, and 
  • For "essential employees," how your job has been affected as a result of an almost empty campus.

Visit our webpage at Share Your Stories: Impact of COVID-19 for more information and instructions on how to submit your story.