The Trussville City Schools board named Tim Salem principal of Hewitt Trussville High School on Thursday night. Salem replaces Zack Barnes who left the school after one year to take the same position at Homewood High School. Salem becomes the high school’s fifth principal since the school system formed seven years ago.
School officials said in a press release that Salem, 52, will begin work later this month pursuant to an initial three-year contract. As of July 2011, Salem was earning $118,300 in Texas. His Trussville contract will pay him $118,000 per year for three years with a $20,000 contract completion incentive if he stays for the full term of his contract. The contract also states that Salem will pay a $20,000 penalty if he leaves before his three year term is up.
Since 2001, Salem has been principal of Bellaire High School, a nationally recognized and academically acclaimed public high school with more than 3,400 students in Houston, Texas. Salem has been employed by the Houston Independent School District for 29 years, and during his tenure has served as high school principal, high school assistant principal, elementary school principal and middle school assistant principal. Prior to serving as a school administrator, Salem was a middle school and a high school English teacher
Bellaire has a diverse student population and has consistently been ranked in the top one half percent of high schools across the country. The school also has an International Baccalaureate program. Salem was not ready to commit to including an IB program at Hewitt, citing staffing and funding as issues that must be explored before taking such a step.
Salem, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and English from the University of Alabama (1983) and a Master in Educational Administration degree from the University of Houston (1990). He also holds certification for Administration and English as a Second Language.
“We are excited to have Mr. Salem become principal of Hewitt-Trussville High School,” Dr. Pattie Neill, Interim Superintendent of Trussville City Schools said. “Mr. Salem is an experienced educator and a seasoned administrator. He has an outstanding reputation in the Houston Independent School District, where his high school was widely regarded as the top school in the district.”
Dr. Neill said she considered and interviewed other candidates, but that Salem’s resume stood out among all of the applicants. “Mr. Salem is very special. We are fortunate that the timing and other factors have worked out so that he could join us at this time.”
A twelve-member committee that included high school teachers, parents, administrators and a current student interviewed Salem on Tuesday. “The group was unanimous that he was the right person for the job,” said Dr. Neill.
Salem’s wife, Lisa, is a native of Muscle Shoals and is an elementary teacher. The Salems are parents to three sons who will be entering the 9th, 6th and 1st grades.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as principal of Hewitt-Trussville High School,” Salem said. “I am excited about the upcoming school year and look forward to getting to know the high school faculty and students. My family and I can’t wait to become part of the Husky family.”
In other board action, Barry Allphin was named assistant principal at the high school. Allphin was the acting principal of Conerstone Schools of Alabama in 2011. He worked for Birmingham City Schools from 1974-81 before moving to the private financial sector until 2009.