SPOTLIGHT On EXCELLENCE Issue 24 March 2013
Welcome Jonathan Swan
Jonathan Swan, a Portfolio Director for the Hartford Public Schools is learning a lot in his new role as Interim Assistant Superintendent of PreK - 12 Education. Raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Jonathan knew he wanted to be a teacher by the time he was in second grade. He recently spoke with his second grade teacher, Mrs. Miller on the phone and the two were able to catch up. She always had high expectations for Jonathan and had encouraged him to write for the school newspaper. When Springfield needed someone to represent his school to meet Rosalyn Carter, the First Lady of the United States, Miss Miller recommended Jonathan. All of the faith his teacher placed on Jonathan and his hard work paid off. After earning his degree at Springfield College he became a history teacher at the high school and middle school level, before earning his masters degree in education administration at Springfield College. After a brief stint as an Assistant Principal at Central High School, Jonathan became an Assistant Principal and then Principal of Duggan Middle School in Springfield. There he lead the school's conversion into an Expeditionary Learning School, and in the process, worked with his staff to improve the school's performance for four consecutive years.
While speaking with his friend Kevin McCaskill in Hartford, Jonathan was impressed by the Theory of Action and by the progressive school reform taking place in Hartford. Wooed to Hartford Public School's Office of School Design in 2010, as Assistant Director, Jonathan worked on the redesigns of Moylan, McDonough, Renzulli, Naylor, and others. After some time as a Director of Elementary Education he became a Portfolio Director. Portfolio Directors provide guidance, support and supervision to schools and provide a coordinated effort to streamline Central Office support to schools in a way that supports the school's improvement efforts.
He uses all of this experience and knowledge in his new role in senior leadership. In addition to his ongoing responsibility directing 15 schools, he attends cabinet meetings and school quality meetings focusing on crafting school accountability plans, using data to problem-solve and providing aligned support to all schools. The changes he looks forward to for the next school year include staffing for six clearly defined portfolios with dedicated directors and support teams, including Special Education, English Language Leaners (ELL) staffing and budget, based upon the model from the Center for Reinventing Public Education.
You are most welcome, Jonathan Swan.