Natasha L. Wade - Principal

Natasha L. Wade, Principal

I attended Longwood College for undergraduate studies in Liberal Arts. I received my Masters in Special Education from Longwood University and my Post-Masters in Educational Leadership was obtained at Virginia Commonwealth University. I have been in education for 20 years. Of my 20 years in education,1 year served in Prince Edward County as a teacher of students with Emotional Disabilities. The other 19 years of my career have been in Chesterfield County Public Schools. During my time in Chesterfield, I have served as a teacher of students with Emotional disabilities, Specific Learning disabilities, Autism, Intellectual disabilities, and physical impairments. I have also served as the Coordinator of the Intensive Day Program for students with severe emotional and mental impairments. Most recently I served as the Associate Principal at Falling Creek Elementary. This is my third year as  the proud principal of Salem Church Elementary.

I am the dedicated wife to my husband, Horace and the “Mommy” of my 9 year old daughter, Christina and an infant daughter, Hazel. I love dogs and have a Yorkie who thinks she’s a person and a lab who is huge but thinks she is small enough to sit in my lap. When I have free moments I am busy spending quality time with my family cooking, exploring, and enjoying the simple things. 

I always strive to guide the youth I encounter on the trail of becoming strong citizens of great character. Partnering with parents in providing their child with the most effective and positive educational experience is my mission. I have a love for children and find happiness in doing for others. I am thrilled to be a part of the Salem Church Elementary community. Salem has a rich history of phenomenal students, teachers, and families and I am delighted to be a “STAR”!

 Assistant Principal Ms. Amber Gardner

Ms. Amber Gardner, Assistant Principal

I attended Lynchburg College (now University of Lynchburg) and received my Bachelor’s of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies- Elementary Education. I received my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, and my Post-Masters in PK-12 Administration & Supervision from Old Dominion University.

I have been in education for 12 years. I started my career in Fairfax County Public Schools, where I was a teacher in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. I relocated to Williamsburg James-City County Schools, where I first served as a teacher before becoming an Assistant Principal in March 2020. What an experience to learn to lead in the midst of a pandemic!

I currently reside in Sandston with my family and have an infant daughter named Alora. We love to take walks, be outdoors and explore Richmond. As a foodie, I especially love checking out local cuisine.

I have always been a firm believer in the power of relationships as well as the importance of helping students strengthen and/or build their social-emotional skills. In a post-pandemic era, I think these two things are more important than ever to help our students be successful and to prepare them for the world ahead. I look forward to partnering with families and the community to help our Salem students be successful and to give them a positive school experience. Shine On!