The Salem City School Board approved a resolution honoring the Salem High School football team, the Group 4A State Champions, during Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled meeting.
The football team ended the season undefeated with a 14-0 record, beating Lake Taylor High School 17-14 in overtime for the title. SHS Principal Scott Habeeb addressed the board, reading the resolution and sharing his thoughts on the accomplishment.
“I think our players learn a lot from the football aspect of football,” Habeeb said. “But they learn more important things than that. Those kids are not going to go win football games for the rest of their lives, but they’re going to be part of a community where they have to serve, love and care for others.”
“I want to extend my personal gratitude to coach Magenbauer, as the principal of Salem High School, for not only a fun season and the opportunity to see excellence happen, but also for the opportunity to know that our young men have the opportunity to follow role models who just really love serving the community,” he added.
Salem High School football coach Stephen Magenbauer accepted a framed copy of the resolution, and addressed the board as well.
“Sometimes we go into seasons knowing we’re going to have a pretty good team, and this year we went into it with a whole lot of question marks,” Magenbauer said. “But we knew we had a lot of kids with a lot of character who played for each other and for our community.”
A copy of the resolution will be presented to each player as well as the team’s coaches, and placed on display in the high school. A ceremony honoring the team will be held next Thursday at Andrew Lewis with Salem City officials.
SHS auditorium under construction
In other news, Salem City Assistant Superintendent of Operations Mike Bryant updated the board regarding the Salem High School auditorium, which is in the process of being renovated.
The project began on Dec. 18, and Bryant said the goal is to have the project completed by the end of February.
“Everything is slated to be completed by the Black History assembly the last day of February,” Bryant said. “We’re very excited. It is a very tight time frame to get it manufactured.”
The auditorium’s carpet and seating was removed, and trenches were cut in the floor to carry conduits. A concrete pad has been poured where a new sound booth will be added. The floor underneath the new seating has been painted as well as the ceilings in the balcony area. New seats are scheduled to ship on Jan. 25, and are estimated to take three weeks to install. New carpeting is due to arrive Feb. 1.
The school lost 50 seats through the project, because the front row was removed to provide more room for the band. However, additional handicap seating was added, and rows were expanded for more space, and there are still 688 seats overall.
“It’s a good tradeoff,” said Salem City School Superintendent Alan Seibert.
ALMS to offer accredited curricula
Salem Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Curtis Hicks addressed the board regarding Andrew Lewis Middle School course offerings for the 2016-17 school year. Hicks recommended that the board make all courses on the high school course master list available to Andrew Lewis Middle School students for use when appropriate.
The school will be doing away with the seventh grade exploratory option, which students will now take in sixth grade instead. Students will be able to begin taking courses for high school credit in seventh grade. However, there is a safety net. If a student doesn’t do well in a course, it can be erased from their official high school transcript.
“What we’re really thinking about here is exploratory as a little dose of everything, and then you’re going to have four semester credit opportunities to explore some of the things you like in exploratory so that you’ll be better equipped to make decisions once you get to the high school about what you really like and what you want to pursue,” Hicks said.
Each year, staff evaluates course offerings based on “student demand, community expectations, and the contribution the course is making to the educational goals of the division.”
The motion carried. To view course options, visit the Salem City Schools website.
All resolutions and detailed information can be found online at http://www.salem.k12.va.us/school-board. The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9.