Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 12, 2010

Principal Profile: Schwartz says successful students don’t just happen

Curt Schwartz, 35, is principal at Jefferson Elementary School, 18565 C.R. 20, Goshen, part of Middlebury Community Schools.

A 1993 graduate of Westview High School, Topeka, Schwartz went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ball State University in 1997.

Schwartz continued his education at Indiana Wesleyan University, earning both a master’s degree in curriculum in 2003 and a degree in educational administration in 2006.

Schwartz got his start teaching third grade at Venice Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., from 1997 to 1999 before moving on to teach for two years at Orchard View Elementary School, part of Middlebury Community Schools.

Following his time at Orchard View, Schwartz accepted a position teaching fifth grade at Jefferson Elementary School in 2001, a position he would retain until 2004 when he began serving as a half-day assistant principal and half-day fifth-grade teacher at the school.

Schwartz would serve in this capacity until August 2007, when he accepted his current position as principal of Jefferson Elementary School.

Schwartz lives in Middlebury with his wife and four children.

Below is a list of questions recently answered by Schwartz regarding education, his school, and his teaching philosophy.

Q: What is your philosophy or mission statement when it comes to education?

A: Jeremiah 29:11 promises that God knows the plans he has for us; plans to give us a hope and a future. I believe God’s plan for each of the students at Jefferson will involve some form or combination of reading, writing or math. My philosophy is to make sure that I help create the type of school where God’s plan can be exercised in each student’s life without any hindrance due to lack of academic ability.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for parents and community members to take an interest in their local schools?

A: Successful students don’t just happen at random. They are the result of being surrounded by adults that care for them and provide an appropriate atmosphere in which to thrive. Parents, community members, and educators are all a part of creating that caring atmosphere.

Q: Looking back over the years since you started in education, would you say the educational system has changed much?

A: The increased accountability has been the biggest change.

Q: Looking forward, what are some of the bigger challenges currently facing your school?

A: Schools in general: budgetary restraints continue to be the focal point of concerns as we move forward.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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