Weekly Newsletter

Week of December 12, 2019

From the Head of School

“Find out who you are, and do it on purpose” -Dolly Parton

I grew up in Tennessee, so Dolly Parton has always been in my life. She was originally just another country singer, then she had her weekly television show, and then later she starred in movies. My friends and I still watch Steel Magnolias whenever we get together, and even though Dolly is playing a character, her words carry that same insight and wisdom that are present in many of our own conversations. (Her character Truvy is the character we all wish we resembled, but we tend to be Ouisers and Clairees.)

Dolly is in the spotlight again, this time to a new generation: She was featured in Ken Burns’ Country Music documentary, and there is a Netflix series titled Heartstrings whose episodes are based on her songs. Dollywood continues to be one of the more popular theme parks in the southeast, and Dolly herself seems to be more present on television, in magazines, and on the internet at age 73 than she was when I was growing up. 

I marvel at how Dolly Parton has defined herself. I almost wrote “reinvented herself,” but I don’t think she has ever swayed from the qualities that define her: caring, ambitious, gutsy, talented, and wise. I never turn off her songs when they come on the radio, and I consider Sirius XM channel 62 (Dolly Parton channel) a pick-me-up on long drives. 

Dolly Parton regularly teamed up with Kenny Rogers on duets (are you humming Islands in the Stream?), and their album Once Upon a Christmas includes a song titled “I Believe in Santa Claus.” I remember rolling my eyes the first time I heard the opening of the song, but then these words were sung - 

I believe in saying what you mean and meaning what you say
I believe a better attitude can make a better way
And I believe in viewing life as a journey that we're on
And lookin' at our troubles as another stepping stone
And I believe that everything in life is what it's meant to be
I believe there is a God somewhere although he's hard to see
I believe I am so therefore I should do all that I can
To be a better piece in the puzzle of God's plan

This is the last newsletter of 2019, and I want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, full of love, and family, and peace. 
I look forward to seeing all of you in the new year!

Far may our song ring clear!

Carol Killebrew

Inclement Weather Policy

Since we have both Day and Boarding students, we operate a bit differently from other schools in the area. We will always try to remain on a regular schedule unless the outside conditions are such that it is not feasible to have even an abbreviated class day.  However, if traveling conditions are not safe for you or your daughter, please do not risk coming to school. Students will not be penalized for absences from class and other school activities that result from their families determining it is unsafe to travel to the Academy during inclement weather. If weather conditions worsen during a school day and travel home is not recommended, day students may stay overnight in the residence hall.

Our methods of  communication for a delayed start or a closing will include:

  • A pop-up on the webpage
  • An email to  all students and parents
  • A text (for parents and students registered to receive Academy text messages)
  • A notice on our local television station WXII
  • A voice recording by calling the tag room number (336-721-2775)

We will do our best to give notice of any schedule change as early as possible.

Exam Week Schedule

During exams, we have a modified school day schedule. Review the schedule to see the most current school-wide activities, exams, curfews, and programming during our exam week schedule

Exam Week Counseling Department Activities

During exams, Ms. Johnson will be hosting 3 events that will allow students to take a break from studying to slow down, relax, and have fun with friends! All events will be from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.

  • Friday, 12/13:
    • Christmas Dog Parade featuring our very own Otis (Ms. Overton’s dog!)
    • Location: Rec Room
  • Monday, 12/16:
    • Mini Gingerbread House Activity
    • Location: Rec Room
  • Tuesday, 12/17:
    • Paper Snowflakes/Guided Meditation Activity
    • Location: Group Counseling Room

DADs Pancake Breakfast

DADS Pancake Breakfast

The much-anticipated DADs exam-time Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, December 14 at 10:30 am in the Academy Rec Room. This event is one of the highlights of the end of the semester, and even though the time of exams has moved, the event remains!
If you are able to volunteer or would like to simply make a monetary contribution towards the event, please contact Alex Hudson P ‘19 P’23 (

First Semester Grades Available Friday, January 3, 2020

First semester grades will be available on Friday, January 3, 2020.  You can view semester grades and exam grades in the Parent Portal; students may or may not have individual teacher comments at this marking period.  Teachers will review first semester exams with students during the first week of the second semester.  Please contact Kara Weimer, Salem Academy’s Registrar, at if you are unable to access your account in the Parent Portal.  

9th and 10th Grade Jan Term Program: Experience Winston-Salem!

The academic day for 9th and 10th graders participating in the on-campus Jan Term program will begin at 8:30 am and end at 3:00 pm each day.  Students will volunteer with organizations in the community most mornings and participate in field trips in the afternoons.  On Wednesday, January 15, students spend the day touring two colleges, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and High Point University and will not return to campus until 3:30 pm.  Please check the weekly eNews in January for additional details about Jan Term programming.  

Review the following documents presented by Betsy Boyd, Director of Studies, at the Parent’s Association meeting on Tuesday, December 10 about the 2020 Jan Term Program:

Advanced Placement Exam Fees

Thank you to all of the students who have paid the exam fee deposit. If you have not yet paid the $40 deposit for each exam that you registered for, please do so before December 18th. Fees may be paid by check (payable to Salem Academy) or with cash. 

College Counseling Update for Seniors

With winter break just around the corner, it is vital you request your transcripts and letters of recommendation for any of your remaining schools by this Thursday, December 6th. Please be sure to request transcripts on Naviance and email Dr. Spong ( to let her know what you need to be sent. The office will be closed from December 19th - January 6th. Your teachers and I will not be available to submit those on your behalf during this time.

Winston-Salem Foundation Scholarship

The One-Stop Scholarship Application portal for the 2020-2021 school year will open on December 15, 2019.

Athletics Update


Three in a Row

Fencing Athlete

At last Saturday’s Fencing Meet at Mendenhall Middle School, the Salem Academy Fencing continued their dominance of the Mountain Division by prevailing over Page High School and Bishop McGuinness High School  5-2 and 5-4 respectively.  Freshman Kaitlyn Gyamfi fenced her first varsity match joining sophomore Mira Fitch and freshman Angelina Jin. Both freshmen rose to the challenge by providing solid team cohesiveness.  

Freshman Destiny Hale competed on a composite JV Team with fencers from Reynolds and Clover High  School (South Carolina). She posted some impressive results as well. The standout for this week’s meet was Mira Fitch who went undefeated for the day. The next fencing meet is the Mountain Division Individual Championship at Bishop McGuinness High School on Jan 25 at 11:00 AM.  Hope to see you there!


The Salem Sabers were back in the water this week for our last swim meet of 2019.   Leading the pack was Kate Dossel (3:03.15), Michaela Murphy (3:29.53) and Eva Henneke in the 200 freestyle (4:23.96). Our Sabers have continued to improve in their swimming technique as well as drop time under the guidance of Coach Tim Hillen and Vavina Lapham.

Lucy Price leads us in the 200 IM (3:22.17).   She continues to drop minutes off her time while learning new transition turns.  Jane Hsieh (45.14), Zora Walton (45:48), Kelly Cabrera (52.44), Symone Asante (1:05.37) have continued to gain strength as many recorded a sub-minute time in the 50 freestyle for the Sabers.  Lucy Price and Molly Mabe both took home 4th place, Lucy (7:41.92)  in the 500 Freestyle and Molly (1:18.56) in the 100 backstroke.   We are very proud of our Sabers and know that there are great things in store for the future of the Salem Academy swim team.

Academy Swim AthletesAcademy Swim Athletes


Senior Night

Salem battles back but comes up short against Chatham Hall. After giving up the first 13 points to Chatham Hall, the Sabers of Salem settled down and put up a good fight on Senior Day against Chatham Hall. The Sabers played really hard and showed much energy on both ends of the court. Senior Angelina Pierre had nine points, including 3 of 4 from the free-throw line. Maggie Dees had four points.  Senior Sara Kent Trollinger had two points. Senior Brier Evans had 3 points, giving her 12 points over the past two games. Senior Izzy Smith had two points. The final score was 20 - 27.

 Academy Basketball Seniors and Coaches 2019

Featured L-R: Coach Reynolds, Angelina Pierre, Sara Kent Trollinger, Brier Evans, Kaymah Joseph, Emma Kanzler, Izzy Smith, Coach Kremidas

2019 Rudolph Run

Rudolph Run Flyer

Salem Academy Athletic Council hosted the annual Rudolph Run.  Saber athletes braved the frigid temperatures and ran up the hill and around Salem Square and back to the tennis courts.  Reindeer food was in abundance and athletes drank hot chocolate to warm themselves up. Professor Betsy Boyd came in third while senior Sophie Iltis came in second.  Our first place winner was Dr. Chris Clary. The English department was well represented and voted most fully exercised in mind, and soul and wit! Helen Watson place first in the junior class.  Zora Walton placed first in the sophomore class with Angelina Jin first in the Freshmen class.

Rudolph Run Winners

Upcoming Activities and Events

Upcoming Activities and Events

Referral Awards

This is the perfect time of year to refer a middle school (or high school!) girl to Salem Academy! Remember, if you refer a family to Salem Academy, you will receive a $1000 Referral Award towards your daughter’s tuition for 2020-2021. Please contact Jessica Rogers (  if you have any questions. 

Financial Aid Application for 2020-2021

It’s that time of year! Families should start thinking about filing the Parent Financial Statement if you wish to receive need-based aid for next year. We anticipate re-enrollment contracts going out in February, so please have your paperwork submitted by January 31st. If you have questions, please contact Jessica Rogers in the Admissions Office. 

Please note that merit awards are renewable annually, and do not require the PFS. 

Thank You from the Hospitality Committee of Parents Association

Thank you to all the parents who generously and quickly filled the Sign-up Genius slots for the teacher and staff Thanksgiving breakfast, holiday luncheon, and student treats. We appreciate you!
- From Africa Alston and Elaine Byers, Co-Chairs

Implicit Bias Training at Noble Academy

Implicit Bias Program Flyer

Noble Academy is excited to invite our local community to an Implicit Bias Training.  We are dedicated to building an environment where all kids feel safe, respected, and empowered. But we all have "blind spots." How are you navigating our diverse world?

Come to this engaging session where we will explore the knowledge and skills necessary to combat stereotypes and build connections. The Implicit Bias Training is on Monday, January 6, 2020, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Noble Academy.

 RSVP is requested but not required for this event.

Travel to Beautiful Greece with the Salem Academy and College Community

Greece Trip

Join Salem's ever-growing travel community on an unforgettable journey to stunning Greece departing June 5, 2020. This itinerary—custom-designed for Salem travelers by our boutique, Greek-American travel partners—enjoys the best that Greece has to offer, including three nights in a picturesque, seaside town, three nights in legendary Athens at the foot of the Acropolis, and three nights sailing the Aegean Sea on a Greek Island cruise.

Marvel at the golden burial goods of Greek heroes of the Trojan War, test the acoustics at the world's best-preserved ancient theater, hear the words of the Apostle Paul in their original context in Corinth, stand in the shadow of the Parthenon, walk the preserved streets of Ancient Ephesus, see the cave where John had his revelation on Patmos, and soak up the blue and white beauty of Mykonos and Santorini. For more information, please speak with our tour host, Salem Academy History Chair Betsy Overton, or visit the tour website for the full itinerary at