This is part of a series of profiles of School Committee candidates in Salem. The Sept. 17 preliminary election will whittle eight candidates down to six.
SALEM — A lot of people know School Committee candidate Patrick Schultz as owner and operator of Howling Wolf Taqueria, a popular Mexican restaurant.
But most of his career has been spent not in the kitchen, but the classroom.
He was a Salem High School social studies teacher, a Chelsea High department chairman and assistant principal, and he spent three years at Mass Insight, a nonprofit focused on education.
At Mass Insight, Schultz worked on a program to increase the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes, the most rigorous courses offered in public schools. In that role, he worked closely with Salem High and with local middle schools on a pre-AP program.
The parent of two children who went through the city’s schools, Schultz was chairman of the Salem Public Schools District Turnaround Committee.
“A lot of those ideas that were formulated in that district improvement plan, you can see all over the accelerated improvement plan” that guides the turnaround effort, he said.
Schultz said he decided to run for School Committee because he feels the board has been “far too passive” and needs stronger leadership and a “new vision.”
“I think the elected officials ... have to set an example,” he said. “They have to welcome accountability, and they have to believe in the students and teachers in the district in order to lead them to a better place.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: 17 Valley St.
Family: Married, two children in college
Employment: Owner and operator of Howling Wolf Taqueria
Education: Sierra High School, Tollhouse, Calif.; Univ of New Mexico, B.A. anthropology; M.A. American studies
Community involvement: Former chairman of Salem Public Schools District Turnaround Committee; Salem High School Council; former vice president and board member Salem Education Foundation; Salem High Band Booster.
Elective offices held: None