New Northeast Principal Is Glenwood Resident, Lewis Central Elemetary Teacher
Ashlie Salazar may be Northeast Elementary School’s new principal but she’s not new to Glenwood.
The Muscatine-native and current second grade teacher at Titan Hill Elementary in the Council Bluffs Lewis Central School District has called Glenwood home since 2014, when she and her husband relocated from Missouri with their son.
Salazar was formally hired as Northeast’s new principal on Feb. 18. She’ll replace Sherry Herron who stepped down from the post last December.
Salazar arrived in Glenwood almost by chance. When relocating back to western Iowa for her husband’s job at MidAmerican Energy, the couple wanted a suburban community well suited to both of their careers and raising their son. They quickly settled on Glenwood.
“We googled ‘best suburbs by Omaha’ and Glenwood came up,” she said. “We found a place in Glenwood. The community was so welcoming, and it really did feel like home right away. We have been there ever since. I’m so thankful my son was able to start kindergarten in Glenwood. The sense of community and pride and positivity has been great. That’s why I’m so excited to officially be a Ram.”
Salazar, 34, is a self-described late bloomer in education. She formerly owned and operated her own hair salon in her hometown for her 13 years prior to pursuing a career in education.
“I always wanted to be a teacher and originally my plan was to finish beauty school, get a job at a salon and work my way through college doing hair on the side,” she said, adding that the plan was set aside for a few years as her salon business grew.
Once having a child of her own, she knew she couldn’t put the dream off any longer and threw herself into education. She earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from William Penn University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Dordt University. She’s in her sixth year teaching at Titan Hill.
The principal job at Northeast will be her first in educational administration. She comes to the job straight from the classroom. She feels her close connection to the classroom is a huge advantage considering the “times we are in right now.”
“We’re so freshly out of the pandemic and those unprecedented times,” she said. “I know what teachers are going throw right now, what the students are going through and what they need for support and those gaps we so urgently need to fill due to the pandemic that we’re seeing across the board, nationwide in education.”
Any conversation with Salazar about her new job, or her current one, invariably circles back to the issues she’s passionate about: her students, the importance of social-emotional learning and equity in education.
“I honestly believe every kid, no matter where they’re from, deserves a quality education,” she said. “I know that if those social and emotional needs are not met, learning cannot be as rich. I have a passion for making sure we’re educating the whole child and meeting the basic needs of the child, so they are learning at their full potential.”
Salazar officially takes over her duties July 1, but she can hardly wait to get started.
“I’m ready to start to tomorrow,” she said.