SALEM — A principal has been named to head The Salem Community Charter School, which opens in the fall.

Jessica Yurwitz of Essex, a former administrator at a Boston charter school, will take charge of the fledgling Salem charter school for dropouts and at-risk high school students.

Yurwitz served as a principal intern and later coordinator of special projects for student support at Boston Day and Evening Academy in Roxbury. She held the latter post from 2006 to 2009, stepping down to have a child, a school official said.

Yurwitz seemed an ideal fit for Salem because the new charter school is modeled after Boston Day and Evening Academy, according to Salem Superintendent William Cameron.

"Jessica has extensive experience in alternative education programs," Cameron said. "She has four years of experience working directly with the model we're trying to implement."

Yurwitz, currently president of the Essex Elementary School PTO, is expected to start the $90,000 job next month.

"She will start as soon as we can get a contract in place, which I hope is in the next week or so," the superintendent said.

Among her first tasks will be enrolling students, selecting a staff and finding a building for the school, which is scheduled to open in September.

The alternative high school for students who have dropped out or are at risk of leaving school will open with up to 50 students, four teachers, one counselor and clerical staff.

"We have had over 40 students express a serious interest in enrolling," Cameron said. "We'll be letting them know very shortly."

By the end of the week, the School Department expects to advertise for space for the new charter school.

Yurwitz was the unanimous choice of the school's trustees, a group that includes Cameron; Robert Gass, the retired executive director of the North Shore Education Consortium; Debbie Amaral, former executive director of the Salem YMCA and current head of the Malden YMCA; Dr. Edward Bailey, chairman of pediatrics at Mass General for Children at North Shore Medical Center; Nate Bryant, a member of the Salem School Committee and an administrator at Salem State University; Michelle Lipinski, principal of the Northshore Recovery High School in Beverly; and Linda Saris of Salem CyberSpace, a nonprofit technology center.

Trending Video

Recommended for you