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Non-renewal of contract between Salem Supt. Margarita Ruiz and Salem Public Schools

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We, the undersigned parents, students and community members of Salem Public Schools district, wish to express our dissatisfaction with the current superintendent, Margarita Ruiz. We ask that the school board not renew the contract with Mrs. Ruiz, and to begin the search for a new superintendent immediately.
It is difficult to compose a single list that encompasses the concerns of hundreds of families in our community. Rather than list individual complaints, we sourced verifiable reports to create the following snapshot of the way our district is portrayed in the community, in local news media and on social media.

When Mrs. Ruiz began in 2015, she insisted on bringing with her a few ex-colleages. We now have 2 Assistant Superintendents, as well as her personal assistant. Every Supt. has been afforded ONE assistant; she has 3. Data shows that Mrs. Ruiz is costing this district THOUSANDS more than what is necessary. SHE IS NOW CONSIDERED THE MOST EXPENSIVE SUPERINTENDENT TO DATE. Salem's Superintendent salary is among the highest in our local districts; (Mrs. Ruiz commands a $194,123 annual salary). State median average for 2017 was $161,133 for an experienced superintendent with a doctorate degree. Mrs. Ruiz has neither.

Mrs. Ruiz’s leadership shortcomings have been demonstrated recently with her decision to close our Nathaniel Bowditch School. She was made aware of the disproportionate Hispanic population, but said she wasn't concerned about it. In fact when the staff at Bowditch approached her about the demographics, she reprimanded them, saying they were creating racism and told them to stop using the term "segregated." A year later, with the school having performed poorly on the state MCAS tests a few years in a row, its now ok to call the school segregated, and move students to higher performing schools. Mrs. Ruiz' poor planning and communication with both parents and the school board committee is just one of many things that reflects her lack of ability to hold her position as Superintendent any longer. She has failed the parents, students, staff and the community for too long by pursuing her own personal goals and agendas.
We have one of the highest teacher turnover rates in the North Shore. With plans on closing Bowditch school, we can't afford to lose more teachers. Mrs. Ruiz's failure to respect and develop the expertise of the educational professionals in the district has led to more than a 45% turnover district-wide.
The removal of a US Marine MCJROTC senior instructor by Mrs. Ruiz in December was shown to be unwarranted and unnecessary. This led to an investigation, performed by a district attorney and SHS principle David Angeramo, which had then became public knowledge. A committed group of parents and community members formed after finding no good cause for termination to have this prominent and well loved war veteran reinstated, and a petition with over ONE THOUSAND signatures requesting his reinstatement as well. Furthermore, Mrs. Ruiz conducted herself in an unprofessional manner while meeting with parents in an attempt to reconcile the instructors dismissal. Their questions fell on deaf ears. She refuses to answer to the public outcry, and has never given her explanation. News coverage has shown the consternation of many parents, prominent politicians, constituents, veterans and community members, all who stand behind reinstatement of the instructor.
The community, including teachers, parents and even students, has made concerns known to this administration with little response. During public comment at school board meetings Mrs. Ruiz has been observed reading her papers, rolling her eyes and laughing instead of listening to the concerns of citizens, parents, students and employees.

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