Carole Swift has been appointed the Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Special Education) for the Milford Public Schools, according to Dr. Elizabeth Feser, Superintendent of Schools.

Although she had been appointed to the post last summer, filling the vacancy left by the retiring Director Susan Kelleher, Swift was unable to assume the position due to a family matter. In the interim, Kelleher and Linda DeFrancesco, recently retired supervisor for Special Education/High School, agreed to serve as co-directors of the Pupil Personnel Services team until a replacement could be found.

Swift is now able and ready to assume the position.

Dr. Feser commented, “Ms. Swift is unwavering in her commitment to the learning of every child. Her years as a special education teacher in diverse settings and at multiple levels, coupled with her success leading Orange Avenue School, provide her with a breadth of expertise in assuming her new role.”

Swift will stay on as principal of Orange Avenue Elementary through the end of the school year and begin her new post as director of Pupil Personnel Services on July 1.

Swift has been an educator for more than 25 years. Her career in special education began in 1992 at Benhaven School, a private school for children with autism. Her role as a self-contained teacher changed to inclusion specialist where her work focused on successfully integrating outplaced K-12 students with complex needs back into their home school.

In 1998, Swift was hired in Milford as a special education teacher at Pumpkin Delight Elementary School. She was asked in 2006 to serve as a special education teacher leader for the middle schools and K-12 special education reading coach. As a teacher leader she worked with the teams in all three middle schools, providing support in developing and implementing educational programs for students, helping teachers determine appropriate interventions, and leading professional development on successful instructional practices with specific disabilities, school officials said.

As the reading coach, Swift worked with K-12 special education teachers in developing literacy profiles on students to better determine and address their literacy needs. She also provided training and support to all nine elementary schools in the implementation of Response to Intervention.

In 2010, Swift was appointed principal of Orange Avenue School where she has served for more than five years. As principal, Swift worked with staff and families to create a culture wherein every child is embraced, school officials said.

Beyond serving as Orange Avenue’s principal, Swift has been a leader in the district in data analysis, providing professional development for her teachers and fellow administrators in how best to use data to better serve children.

“Having worked as both a special education educator and a leader of a school, Ms. Swift brings wide experience to her new role,” said Dr. Feser. “Ms. Swift will build on the many strengths of the special education/pupil services department and collectively, with staff and in partnership with parents, further advance programs and services for children.”

Swift received her Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Connecticut State University in Special Education in 1983.  She received her Master of Science degree in Special Education from SCSU, graduating with honors in 1995. Swift has also completed two 6th Year Certifications, one from the University of Bridgeport in Elementary Education in 1998 where she graduated summa cum laude, the second from SCSU in 2009 in Educational Leadership, where she graduated with honors.  Most recently, Swift received her advanced certificate in Executive Leadership from the University of Connecticut.

“I am honored and excited to take on this very important role within the Milford Public Schools,” Swift said. “Having started my career as a special education teacher and having served the district in different ways over the years, I feel I am ready for this next part of my professional journey. I will, undoubtedly, miss the remarkable Orange Avenue School community and will fondly remember the many great experiences I’ve had working with wonderful children, involved and supportive parents, compassionate and dedicated teachers and skilled and knowledgeable administrators. In this position, I will be able to continue to do the work I love – but on a broader scale.”