News Flash

Home

Posted on: May 30, 2023

Andrew Lewis Principal Jamie Garst Returning to the Classroom

Salem City Schools Logo

Salem School Division Superintendent, Dr. Curtis Hicks, announced this afternoon that veteran employee Jamie Garst is returning to the classroom and leaving his administrative post at the end of the current school year. Garst has been the principal of Andrew Lewis Middle School since July 1, 2017. 

“There are several reasons for this decision and most importantly is my desire to spend more time with my family and take better care of myself,” said Garst. “Being a principal is a stressful job and it has taken a toll on my personal health over the years. I need to take a step back, so I can better serve Salem’s children.” 

“Mr. Garst is an outstanding principal, but he is an even better person,” said Hicks. “He works tirelessly to try and meet the needs of every student, parent, and employee at Andrew Lewis, and that can become a huge burden and truly take its toll on anyone.”

Prior to leading the staff and students at Andrew Lewis, Garst was an assistant principal at the middle school for four years. In May of 2022, he was named Virginia’s Middle School Principal of the Year by a panel of principals and superintendents representing the Commonwealth’s Association of Secondary School Principals.

“I'm very proud of all that Andrew Lewis has been able to accomplish over the past six years,” said Garst. “We've had to make some difficult instructional changes and the teachers have worked extremely hard to adapt and provide learning opportunities for our kids to make them successful.”  

During his tenure, Andrew Lewis opened an outdoor garden space on the school property and created the “Giving Light Food Pantry” to assist students experiencing challenges outside of school. 

“Jamie’s leadership was invaluable for these projects, and it also was a key component in Andrew Lewis Middle School’s ability to navigate COVID-19 and the aftereffects,” said Hicks. “He effectively engaged staff, students, and the community to solve problems and make sure families had the information they needed to make informed decisions."

“I am proud of how we served our students and families with such care during the pandemic,” Garst said. “But, if I want to continue to be an effective leader in the future, I believe it is critically important for me to get back in the classroom and regain my teacher perspective. I am super excited about this opportunity and the chance to get recentered.”

Garst earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 2003 from Virginia Tech and later acquired two master’s degrees in biochemistry and curriculum and instruction from Tech. He also has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Radford University. The Salem native began his teaching career in 2008 in a chemistry classroom at his alma mater, Salem High School. 

“I understand and respect his decision to return to the classroom where he can focus more directly on his students and his family,” said Hicks. “He was an outstanding teacher before becoming an administrator and we are lucky to have someone with his experience back in the classroom.” 

Garst will transition to his new teaching role on July 1, 2023. Initially, he will teach both chemistry at Salem High School and physical science at Andrew Lewis Middle School. The search for a new principal at Andrew Lewis will begin immediately.

Garst and his wife, Sarah, a teacher at G.W. Carver Elementary, reside in Salem with their three boys. 

Salem Educator Jamie Garst


 

 

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

Salem City Seal

2023 Holiday Events All Set for Salem

Posted on: November 17, 2023
Salem City Seal

2023 Halloween Events Set For Salem

Posted on: October 3, 2023
Salem Civic Center Logo

Hitmaker Dustin Lynch Returning to Salem

Posted on: September 21, 2023
Salem City Seal

Electoral Board Meets on September 11

Posted on: September 9, 2023
Salem City Seal

Salem Seeks City Manager Applicants

Posted on: September 5, 2023
Salem Civic Center Logo

Salem Fair Enjoys The Ride in 2023

Posted on: July 10, 2023
Salem Civic Center Logo

Heavy Metal Rockers Coming to Salem

Posted on: June 13, 2023
Salem Fire Department Logo

Structure Fire at 2011 Apperson Dr.

Posted on: April 22, 2023
Salem Fire Department Logo

Structure Fire at 16 McDivitt Road

Posted on: April 22, 2023
Salem Parks and Recreation Logo

2023 Easter Egg Hunt Set for April 5

Posted on: March 21, 2023
Salem Civic Center Logo

New Owners for the Salem Red Sox

Posted on: March 17, 2023
Salem Fire Department Logo

Early Morning Fire on West Main Street

Posted on: January 14, 2023
Salem City Seal

2022 Holiday Events All Set in Salem

Posted on: November 22, 2022
Salem Civic Center Logo

Indoor Pro Lacrosse Coming to Salem

Posted on: November 21, 2022
Salem Parks and Recreation Logo

2022 Halloween Activities Set in Salem

Posted on: October 20, 2022
Salem Fire Department Logo

Salem Fire and EMS Extinguish 9th St. Fire

Posted on: September 25, 2022
Salem Police Department Logo

Salem Police Receive Statewide HEAT Honor

Posted on: September 16, 2022
Salem City Seal

Olde Salem Days 2022 Traffic Information

Posted on: September 7, 2022
Salem City Seal

Apperson Bridge Sidewalks Closed

Posted on: May 22, 2022
Salem Civic Center Logo

Paw Patrol LIVE Coming to Salem In June

Posted on: February 14, 2022
Salem Fire Department Logo

Yokohama Fire Causes $160,000 Damage

Posted on: December 20, 2021
Salem Police Department Logo

Police Arrest Two for Stealing from Cars

Posted on: December 3, 2021
Salem City Seal

2021 Holiday Events Announced for Salem

Posted on: November 17, 2021
Salem Fire Department Logo

Commercial Fire at MedExpress on West Main

Posted on: November 10, 2021
Salem Fire Department Logo

Three Pets Perish in Peach Street Fire

Posted on: November 5, 2021
Salem City Seal

Council Proclaims Murray Cook Day in Salem

Posted on: September 28, 2021
Salem Fire Department Logo

Structure Fire on Azalea Street

Posted on: August 27, 2021

Parker McCollum is Coming to Salem

Posted on: August 26, 2021
Salem Fire Department Logo

Structure Fire on Victoria Street

Posted on: April 3, 2021
Salem Fire Department Logo

Dog Perishes in Front Avenue Fire

Posted on: March 30, 2021
Salem City Schools Logo

Epperly Named Assistant Principal at SHS

Posted on: February 10, 2021
Salem Police Department Logo

Goodman Named Police Officer of the Year

Posted on: February 10, 2021
Salem City Schools Logo

Kayla Wood Named SHS Girls Soccer Coach

Posted on: February 10, 2021
Salem Fire Department Logo

House Fire on Valleydale Avenue

Posted on: January 23, 2021
Salem City Seal

I-81 Widening Meeting Set for Feb. 9

Posted on: January 11, 2021
Salem City Seal

Local COVID-19 Vaccination Plans

Posted on: January 11, 2021
Salem Fire Department Logo

Structure Fire on Stonewall Circle

Posted on: January 4, 2021
Salem City Seal

Need Help with Utility Bills Payment?

Posted on: December 21, 2020
Salem City Seal

2020 Holiday Events Set For December

Posted on: November 30, 2020
Salem City Seal

Salem Receives Second State Tourism Grant

Posted on: November 16, 2020
Salem City Schools Logo

Boyd Named SHS Boys Basketball Coach

Posted on: November 12, 2020
Salem Police Department Logo

Salem Murder Suspect Arrested in West Va.

Posted on: November 10, 2020
Salem City Seal

Salem Awarded 15 New NCAA Championships

Posted on: October 14, 2020
Salem City Schools Logo

Salem School Division Earns Statewide Honor

Posted on: September 21, 2020
Salem Parks and Recreation Logo

2020 Salem Half Marathon Goes All Virtual

Posted on: September 14, 2020
Salem Parks and Recreation Logo

Parks & Rec Offering New Wellness Classes

Posted on: September 8, 2020
Salem City Seal

Phase II Downtown Revitalization Underway

Posted on: September 3, 2020
Salem City Seal

Rob Light Named Assistant City Manager

Posted on: August 24, 2020
Salem Parks and Recreation Logo

Salem Half Marathon COVID-19 Update

Posted on: July 30, 2020
Salem City Seal

Council Extends Due Dates for Taxes

Posted on: April 14, 2020
Salem City Seal

Local Governments Declare Emergencies

Posted on: March 16, 2020
Salem Police Department Logo

Police Make Arrest in Baymont Inn Incident

Posted on: February 19, 2020
Salem Fire Department Logo

Residential Fire on West Riverside Dr.

Posted on: February 16, 2020
Salem Civic Center Logo

Americana Music Artists Coming to Salem

Posted on: February 10, 2020
Salem Police Department Logo

Webb Named Salem Officer of the Year

Posted on: January 21, 2020
Salem City Schools Logo

Adam Ward Classic Expands for 2020

Posted on: January 14, 2020
Salem Fire Department Logo

Commercial Fire on Salem Industrial Dr.

Posted on: January 5, 2020