Jeanice Kerr Swift, Ph.D. has served over twenty-six years in the field of Education. Dr. Swift has been Superintendent for the Ann Arbor Public Schools since 2013, and under her guidance enrollment has increased, new programs have been added and students and teachers alike have continued to achieve. Her passion is “working on a high-performing AAPS team to continuously improve the work of the organization, offering a 'world-class' educational experience for every child in Ann Arbor Public Schools every day.”
With over 25 years experience working in various educational roles, what experiences have most shaped the person, and superintendent, that you are today?
The experience that has most shaped my work is my time in the classroom; for over thirteen of my 27 years in education, I was privileged to serve students directly as a classroom teacher. This is where the 'magic' happens in teaching and learning. Supporting the work of quality teaching and learning is the number one priority that all other divisions of the school system must serve. It is the critical mission.
What motivates you everyday?
The motivation, the drive in this work, comes from the children and our capacity to positively impact our collective future, both in Ann Arbor and across the country. Our AAPS graduates regularly achieve incredible outcomes beyond high school in the positive difference they make in our world. We have just welcomed Kindergartners who will graduate in the Class of 2027, so we are motivated every day by investing in each of these children and in our shared future.
What has been the biggest adjustment moving from Colorado Springs to Ann Arbor?
I LOVE Ann Arbor! I love the widespread community engagement, partnerships and the impressive support for our neighborhood schools, the rich and amazing arts scene, the beautiful trees, and I never tire of exploring the robust downtown as well as other areas around town. Ann Arbor is a special place and I am so proud to work and live in this extraordinary community.
What do you have to say about your time being Superintendent of Schools thus far?
It is an honor to serve the students, families and staff of the Ann Arbor Public Schools – we are engaged in a partnership to extend and enhance the quality for which AAPS has long been known. The work is all about communication, collaboration, connection and creating a community. We appreciate that our parents entrust their most precious resource– our children — with us and we will work hard everyday to continue to earn that trust.
Advice to current students:
Make every day matter by finding your passions and strengths and leverage every opportunity that you can to develop them to the fullest. When you discover what drives you, in what areas you are truly gifted, and you develop in those areas, then those talents, gifts, become your 'superpowers' in life – areas where you can achieve truly amazing levels of performance.