Mrs. Swindle selected as Teacher of the Year nominee

Four years ago she was working as a manager at Victoria Secret, but now, instead of promoting clothes, she’s promoting education. Her focus on education and her care for her students has earned Courtney Swindle a nomination for Teacher of the Year.

The nominees were revealed on Jan. 7 at the Staff Breakfast. Swindle, Special Education teacher and program coordinator for the DHS cheerleading program, was one of eight nominees competing for the award. Although the award ended up going to the ROTC teacher, Colonel West, Swindle is still working hard to inspire her students.

Swindle’s care for her students is evident when she speaks about her teaching philosophy and how much she cares about giving her students a proper education.

“If your students don’t know that you care, then you’re not going to get their trust,” Swindle said. “Then they’re not going to learn anything.”

Her attitude shows how much work she puts into as a teacher. Balancing being the lead cheer coordinator while also working as a SPED teacher at the same time takes serious commitment. However, Swindle says it’s all worth it when she recalled her first year of teaching special education.

“I had a student who wanted to drop out of school, but he came back a couple weeks later, and was having a hard time reading,” Swindle said. “I worked with him every day, and he continued to improve. Then at the end of his senior year, he graduated and got his diploma. Finally when it came time for graduation, he made a point to thank me.”

Swindle’s interest in her students is easily seen when talking to anyone she’s coached and/or taught.

“Coach Swindle is a strict, but loving coach,” cheerleader Natalie Aiken said. “She always gives us challenges that will help us prepare for our future. Having had many different coaches, Swindle does stand out. She’s not just there as a coach, but as a mentor and a friend, and always watches out for us. She is always pushing us to do better and inspires us to move further safely and in good spirits.”