June 2020 Alumnae Newsletter

June 2020 News from the May Dell - Salem Academy

Letter from Carol

Carol Killebrew

Dear Salem Academy Alumnae:

I was looking back at my August 2019 message to you—one that I had written after Baltimore Ravens’ player Ed Reed was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I quoted these words that he shared: 

I tell you, each one of you, stay encouraged. Encourage each other. Help somebody. We should. We’re supposed to. That’s what being a human is about, leaving this place better than we got it. That’s all it’s about, y’all.

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In that newsletter, I made a pledge that my intention was to do this as Head of School; little did I know that I would be the recipient of these words.  You welcomed me without hesitation, you invited me into your homes, and you met me for coffee (and drinks!). You called and wrote to ask me questions and give suggestions. Even when I was unsuccessful, you encouraged me to move on and do better the next time. You have been nothing short of amazing, and I am grateful for that. 

I especially want to thank the members of the Salem Academy Alumnae Board who always keep Salem Academy a priority. These women are true representatives of all of you: strong, intelligent, brave, and generous. What wonderful role models for Salem Academy students! I have had the privilege of working with Martha Johnston Manning and Ina Blackmore Kamenz, both from the Class of 1973, and there is no doubt that their blood runs purple and gold. I am certain that I could say the same about all of you.

My two years at Salem Academy have been remarkable, and I leave a better leader because of my experience. Thank you for being an integral part of that. 

Far may our song ring clear!

Carol Killebrew
Head of School

Presidential Search Update

Salem College Campus aerial - front campus with Main Hall

After holding an initial meeting on March 31, 2020, the Presidential Search Committee has met three additional times to date (all virtually), with the most recent meeting taking place on June 1, 2020.

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Since that first meeting on March 31, the committee solicited feedback and suggestions through surveys and virtual focus groups from various stakeholders regarding the top priorities and values for Salem, the most pressing challenges it is facing, and the direction the institution needs to take in order to successfully pivot toward the future.

At the June 1 meeting, the committee finalized and approved a job description and the posting of an ad, which can be reviewed on the Presidential Search section of the Salem College website. The position was posted on The Chronicle of Higher Education, HigherEdJobs, and LinkedIn, and there are multiple networks being explored in health-related organizations and institutions.

The goal of the Presidential Search Committee is to perform an expedited and confidential search with the hope of having the position filled early this fall.

To make a nomination or to request additional information, please email the committee at

Former President Sandra Doran’s Guest Column

If you did not see President Doran's recent column in the Winston-Salem Journal, we hope you’ll take a moment to read her thoughts on the promising future for Salem College and Winston-Salem.

Help Academy Admissions

Calling all alumnae and former Academy parents—Salem admissions needs you NOW. The global pandemic has prevented the admissions staff from traveling for recruitment, so we need you to be our eyes and ears and voices in your community. Help us find more girls for the Academy. Scan your church directory, your swim club membership, your Junior League or Rotary roster. Look around your neighborhood and refer a 6–9th grader to us. Or sign up to Adopt a Middle School or become an Ambassador. We need everyone who loves Salem to rally; to volunteer fill out this form.

Share your Stories About the Impact of COVID-19

The Salem Academy and College Archives has initiated a project to solicit documents in an attempt to record accurately the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Salem community—students, faculty, staff, and alumnae. We believe that documenting the present will help provide greater understanding of this life-altering event for both now and the future. Submissions will be accepted through the fall semester.

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As alumnae, your stories will be different from those of the current on-campus community, but are equally as important because we are seeking stories which encompass ALL of Salem. The method you select to record your thoughts, feelings, and experiences during this time is up to you, but may include the following:

                • written journal entries               • social media posts

                • digital storytelling                        • audio/visual recordings

                • blog entries                                    • other creative works

Visit the library's website for more information on the project and instructions on how to submit your items using our google form. Please feel free to contact if you have questions or require assistance with your submissions. Thank you in advance for your contributions to this project.

The 2020 Joel Weston Award for Faculty/Staff Excellence

Lauren Rogers

The Parents’ Association of Salem Academy established the Joel Weston Award for Faculty Excellence in memory of Joel Weston to honor the faculty and staff of Salem Academy. The first award was presented in the spring of 1986.

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To qualify for this award, the person must meet the following criteria: have a minimum of three years employment at Salem Academy; be a full-time faculty or staff member; demonstrate excellence in classroom teaching (if faculty); demonstrate excellence in relations with students; and demonstrate excellence in overall contribution to total Academy program. 

The 2020 Weston Award winner was Dean Lauren Rogers. In presenting the award (virtually) Claudette Weston said: “This year’s recipient is  “L” loving and caring as a leader, “A” always willing, “U” unique, “R” responsible, “E” excellent, “N” notably nice, “R” radiant, “O”  open-hearted and open-minded, “G” great, “E” enlightening, “R” reachable, and “S” has a sense of humor. You might know her by the way she greats students at assembly each morning: ‘Good morning my beautiful and confident Salem sisters.’”

The 2020 Elsie Nunn Headmaster’s Award

Maria Robinson

The Elsie Nunn Headmaster’s Award was established in honor of Elsie Nunn, one of the most distinguished teachers in the long history of Salem Academy. A mathematics teacher at the Academy for 40 years, Miss Nunn understood that great teachers do a lot more than just teach their subject matter. She dedicated her life to her students, became involved in their lives outside the classroom and was always there when needed.  The purpose of the Elsie Nunn Headmaster’s Award is to recognize faculty at Salem Academy who reflect the spirit of responsibility and the dedication to service which Miss Nunn exemplified.

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To qualify for the award, the person must meet the following criteria: deliver selfless and cheerful service; develop positive relationships with students, faculty, and staff; and possess a willingness to go beyond the requirements of duty.

This year’s winner is Maria Robinson, Art Instructor at Salem Academy and Salem College and mother of Alex, Class of 2020. Carol Killebrew described Ms. Robinson using Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but in reverse chronological order.: “This Ghost of Salem Future has recently served on institutional task forces, looking forward toward Salem’s next 250 years. She has never been one to be comfortable with the status quo, so she has asked the questions, challenged her peers, and inspired those around her to join in her contagious enthusiasm, all in the name of educating girls. This Ghost of Salem Present includes two roles: Salem teacher and Salem parent. This dual role is a challenging one, but she has been able to manage it beautifully. A current parent describes her as follows: ‘She cares about her students and is someone who’s not only a teacher but also a friend. She laughs, cries, and celebrates with her students, and she is always there to give advice. She constantly comes up with new ways to be creative and think outside of the box. Her projects are fun, they are innovative, and they always allow the girls to learn new creative concepts.’ This Ghost of Salem Past emerged in the fall of 1987 as a South Carolina native who headed to Winston-Salem for her senior year of high school. Her senior quote in the Quill Pen is “An admission of error is a sign of strength rather than a weakness.” I have not seen much error in this woman’s life, but this attitude is what allows her to encourage all around her to pick themselves up when they are down and learn from setbacks.”

The 2020 Oak Award Winner

Sara Kent

The distinguished Oak Award is given each year to a senior who has attended Salem Academy for four years and has held leadership positions, performed her duties with distinction, made a notable contribution to the quality of life at Salem, and has attained at least a 3.0 grade point average overall. This award is determined by students, faculty, and staff. The winner of the 2020 Oak Award, which symbolizes the strength, longevity, and resilience of the Oak trees that adorn Salem’s beautiful campus, is Sara Kent Trollinger.

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In a video presentation, Alia Agee, the 2019 Oak Award recipient stated: “Sara Kent Trollinger truly exemplifies what it means to be a Salem sister. She has participated in numerous Academy productions, both as cast and crew. She is a team player on the volleyball court, being dedicated to the sport and her team. She has served on the honor cabinet advocating for the student body. She reflects onto others her bright smile and positive attitude. Sara Kent you are such a loving, kind friend. You leave a lasting impression on everyone you meet. You give your absolute best in all that you do. Congratulations!”

Sara Kent will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she plans to major in environmental science and journalism.

The 2020 Faculty Award Winner

Brier Evans

The Faculty Award is given at graduation to the senior whose qualities of character, personality, and service most exemplify those of the ideal Salem Academy student. The recipient is selected by the faculty. This year’s winner was Brier Evans. Here are just a few of the descriptors Head of School Carol Killebrew used when presenting the award (slightly paraphrased): With a contagious smile and ambitious mind, Brier Evans is a mature and independent young woman, one who is capable of not only meeting but challenging the complexities of the modern world.

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She is a hard-working student with a knack for problem solving and has developed such skills as confidence, rapport with her peers, and extremely positive energy. She is a commendable student, dependable teammate, and unwavering friend. She has used all these attributes to emerge as a solid leader of the Class of 2020 and also as a true changemaker. She talks of being a speech pathologist and hopes that one day she will have the opportunity to give back to her country to help those who have language communication barriers, but do not have access to care. She has genuine care for those around her, and her commitment to bettering the lives of others is inspiring.

Beloved Former Salem College Professor Dudley Shearburn Passes Away

Dudley Shearburn, who came to Salem College in 1977 and enlivened the campus for many years, passed away in St. Louis recently. You can read an article about her active and engaged life in the Winston-Salem Journal.

It’s Not Too Late to Support Salem’s Students

Academy - Forever Salem Strong Banner Spring 2020

We recognize that in this unusual time, many organizations are seeking your support. At the same time, we ask you to give your most serious consideration to making a gift to the Salem Academy Fund to help Salem remain positioned to move forward.

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Our greatest priority is our students. We know that COVID-19 may have a significant impact on the finances of our students’ families. Your gift to the Salem Academy Fund will help to ensure that our students have the scholarship funding that they need to return to Salem next academic year.

Salem’s fiscal year ends on June 30. Click here to make your gift today! Your support keeps Salem strong!

Deadline to Make Your Mark on Salem’s 250th Celebration Extended

The deadline for alumnae, students, faculty, and staff to submit a design for the 250th logo has been extended until July 10. You still have time to make your mark! Please send a scanned image or mobile phone picture of your design entry by July 10 to

Volunteer to get involved in any of the 250th planning:

Class of 2020 Celebrations

Congratulations to the Salem Academy Class of 2020! Although they could not be together in person, multiple virtual celebrations were held to celebrate this resilient and talented graduating class. You can watch the celebrations here. A password is required: SABERSTRONG.

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