, Salem, MA

Local News

September 4, 2013

Walsh: 'Schools have been my life'

Part of a series of profiles of the candidates for Salem School Committee in the Sept. 17 preliminary election, which will whittle the eight candidates down to two for the final election in November.

SALEM — Brendan Walsh, who is running for his third term on the School Committee, spent his entire working life in the city schools.

The son of Salem’s longtime supervisor of attendance, Walsh was a teacher and administrator in the public schools over a career that spanned almost four decades.

For most of his career, Walsh was director of the federal Title 1 program, which served disadvantaged children. In that role, he helped establish the city’s first publicly funded preschool, which became the Early Childhood Center at Bentley School. He also initiated a parent-child home program to help families get their children ready for school.

As a member of the school board, Walsh points to his strong support of Carlton School as one of the state’s first innovation schools, and his continuing support of retaining and expanding vocational education in the city.

“It was important we keep these (vocational courses) so kids at Salem High have as many options as possible,” he said.

Walsh and his wife, Kay, helped raise funds for the public schools during a serious school financial crisis several years ago.

“Schools have been my life,” he said. “It is 37 years of my working life, and they mean a great deal to me. I want to see every child in the city have the best shot they can have at success.”

Tom Dalton can be reached at


Address: 5 West Terrace

Age: 72

Family: Married, two adult children

Employment: Retired teacher and administrator in Salem Public Schools

Education: St. Mary’s High School, Lynn; Merrimack College, B.A. humanities; Salem State College, M.A., education; Boston College, D.Ed.

Community involvement: Founding board member, Salem Childrens’ Charity; board member, Plummer Home for Boys; sponsor of school Giving Tree Award; founding board member, My Brother’s Table, Lynn.

Elective offices held: Salem School Committee, 2005-present





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