by Charlie Woo
David L. SwaneyThough David L. Swaney has only been a part of the Montgomery Blair community since 1997, the NSL/ AP Comparative Government teacher has been able to find the diverse atmosphere that he had always wanted. Swaney was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he strived to make the best of the non- diverse environment that he wasn't truly content with.
Subjects: NSL/ AP Comparative Government
Education: Iowa Public Schools, University of Michigan for undergrad and George Washington University for the Masters in Education and the Masters in International Affairs.
Previous Jobs: Organization of American States, Peace Corps, Mercedes- Benz
Came to Blair in 1997
Hobbies: Violin, Triathlons
Extracurricular Activities: Swim Team, "It's Academic"
Along the way to finding the ideal career, Swaney's journey was marked by several other jobs that made him the man he is today. "I was an assistant Dean at G.W., which was really great, especially with a free tuition," Swaney reminisces, with a glint of nostalgia in his eyes. Swaney also worked with the Organization of American States, the Peace Corps, and was a paper stamper for Mercedes- Benz Company in Germany.
As Swaney worked in various parts of the world for numerous groups of people, he developed an idea about his perfect job for him would be. In fact, it was his participating in the Peace Corps that was responsible for inspiring him to his current position. "The Peace Corps [influenced] me to become a teacher. It showed me that the route to most problems seemed to be a lack of education rather than money or resources," explained Swaney.
Swaney feels that he has found a true home- away- from- home as a part of Montgomery Blair High School. "I love it," Swaney said about the Blair atmosphere. "The diversity is beautiful!"
Swaney thoroughly enjoys his job as a teacher, but he also always recognizes the responsibilities that come with it. To Swaney, the advantages of being a teacher "greatly outweigh" the disadvantages. Swaney enjoys being able to laugh all day and have classes where everyone "gets into it." However, Swaney dislikes grading students, especially at night.
Despite the upsides and downsides of being a teacher, he loves the school nonetheless. Swaney feels that Blair has taken hold of him, but not enough to prevent him from living a life outside of the educational/teaching world. Swaney is apart of the Swim Team at Blair, and is one of the coaches for "It's Academic." Swaney also enjoys participating in triathlons and playing violin, which he has done all his life. Also, he is anxious to compete in the CBS reality TV show, "The Amazing Race." Eagerly and confidently, Swaney says, "Oh yeah, I'll totally get in [the show]!"
As a youngster, Swaney had no idea that he would one day become a teacher, but as he looks back, he realizes what it was his experiences as a child that pushed him onto the path of teaching. "I went to Normal High School, USA," Swaney says. The lack of diversity pushed him to strive toward his new life full of rich, diverse culture.
In Swaney's five short years at Blair, he has been able to experience more love and diversity than many people find in a lifetime at their jobs. But, in the case that anything goes wrong with his teaching career, he has a plan to fall back on. "If I couldn't teach, I would join Transparency International, an organization in Berlin that investigates worldwide government corruption."
Swaney comes to school everyday looking for new experiences and memories to share with his students. Life as a teacher may not be the simplest task, but Swaney meets his jobs standards with ease, all the while receiving praise for his attitude and care from his students and friends alike.