, Salem, MA

Local News

September 6, 2013

Hunt: A charter school leader

SALEM — Rachel Hunt was the driving force behind the creation of Salem Academy Charter School and served as its first head of school, a title she still holds.

Over the past decade, the grade 6-12 independent public school has received many honors and accolades.

Rated Level 1 by the state, the highest ranking, it received state approval to expand a few years ago. US News & World Report ranked it one of the best public schools in Massachusetts.

“Our mission is to prepare our students for college,” said Hunt, a former Collins Middle School teacher who taught in Costa Rica and is fluent in Spanish. “And that is basically done by an integration of rigorous classes, service (to the community) ... and developing our students’ character.”

Now 40 and the mother of two young children, Hunt is running for School Committee.

Hunt said school leaders must have “high expectations and an unwavering belief in students.”

This upcoming school year, she said, is “all about the accelerated improvement plan ... (and) a 100 percent focus on the quality implementation of that plan.”

“I think to improve, we have to say no matter who walks through that door, we’re going to get them to where they need to be,” she said.

Tom Dalton can be reached at


Address: 10 Carpenter St.

Age: 40

Family: Married, two children

Employment: Head of School, Salem Academy Charter School

Education: Belmont High School; Wesleyan University, B.A. sociology; Harvard University, master’s in education.

Community involvement: Founding board member Wicked Running Club; former member Salem Bike Path Committee; charter school accountability volunteer for Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; former board member, WorldTeach.

Elective offices held: None.

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