The life of a school vice principal can be pretty hectic. But for Christy Swauncy, it comes with the territory. A former classroom science teacher, Swauncy has been recently promoted to vice principal of the KIPP Central City Academy in New Orleans, LA. In her role as vice principal, her days consist of meeting with parents, working with the principal to manage the administration and educational needs of the students in the school, coaching classroom teachers and building relationships with families and community partners. A Dillard University alumna, Swauncy taught elementary and middle school science for 16 years before setting her eyes on school administration.
In an article published by Education Post, author Dr. Meredith Anderson mentions that schools with more black principals have higher percentages of black teachers, increased student performance and increased enrollment of black students in gifted programs. Studies show that having a black teacher increases the likelihood of black children attending college. Other studies report that black administrators exhibit unique core strengths from reduced unconscious biases that occur in K-12 education; and the positive impact that goes along with frequent exposure of people of color in authoritative positions. “What I appreciate is that New Orleans recognizes that teachers of color need to be in the classroom and in administrative roles—mirroring the population of the school,” says Swauncy.
For Swauncy, her teaching career certainly prepared her to excel as a school administrator. Specifically, she understands what methods of teaching and learning have worked for her when she taught in the classroom. She uses those experiences and lessons learned to support and coach the teacher workforce in her school.
Swauncy believes that the key to students’ academic success is growth. This belief perfectly aligns with KIPP’s values. In her school, the teachers set goals for each student at the beginning of the school year and work with the students to continue to meet their daily, weekly and monthly goals—achieving mastery in their educational experience. They set both academic and cultural goals. Students are incentivized if they meet their goal and are then rewarded at the end of each week.
Prior to her role as a school administrator, Swauncy was a seventh grade teacher, teaching science. She was the recipient of the 2017 New Orleans Excellence in Teaching award.
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