Carole Swift has been appointed director of pupil personnel services for the Milford Public Schools, replacing Susan Kelleher, who retired.
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 integrating outplaced K-12 students with complex needs back in their home school.
In 1998, Swift was hired in Milford as a special education teacher at Pumpkin Delight Elementary School. Eight years later, she was asked in 2006 to serve as a Special Education Teacher Leader for the middle schools and K-12 Special Education Reading Coach. In this capacity, 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.
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. Swift also provided training and support to all nine elementary schools in the implementation of Response to Intervention, (RtI).
In 2010, Swift was appointed principal of Orange Avenue School, the year it was reconfigured to a Pk–2 school.
“As the new principal, Swift worked with staff and families to create a culture wherein every child is embraced,” school officials said in announcing Swift’s appointment. “Over the past five years Ms. Swift has supported and helped strengthen teachers in their implementation of Math Investigations and Readers and Writers Workshop, established a professional learning culture and supports for teachers – regular education and special education – to work collaboratively to improve student learning, and worked with pre-kindergarten teachers around strengthening literacy in the classrooms.”
Beyond serving as Orange Avenue’s principal, Swift has been a leader in the district in data analysis, providing professional development for administrators in the use of data and how best to assist teachers to use data to better serve children.
Swift has been described as being “a true advocate for all students, both the challenged child and the gifted child and every child in between.”
School Supt. Dr. Elizabeth Feser said of Swift, “She 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. 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 with disabilities.”
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 in Bridgeport in Elementary Education in 1998 where she graduated summa cum laude, the second from SCSU in 2009 in the area of Educational Leadership, where she graduated with honors. Most recently, Swift received her advanced certificate in Executive Leadership from the University of Connecticut in July 2014.
“I am honored and excited to take on this very important role within the Milford Public Schools,” Swift commented. “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.”