Symphony Swan

Symphony Swan is Assistant Principal at Woodlands School. Formerly an art teacher, she expresses her love for the joy her students bring and her desire to give them everything they need to fulfill their promise.

When you’re artistic by nature, it’s kind of expected that your life might take some twists and turns. But as Assistant Principal at Woodlands School, Symphony knew from an early age that education was where she was meant to be.

A former MPS student, Symphony’s early years were filled with a range of creative pursuits and interests: Art. Music. Dance. Sports. And a love of history, thanks to an “absolutely amazing” high school teacher who became her favorite.

After graduating UWM with a major in art education, she took an internship with a local nonprofit, then landed her first job as an art teacher at a new charter school—in charge of both the elementary and middle school art departments. “I was a natural at it,” she recalls. “I had been working with young people from the time I was 18.”

But soon she would find herself at a different charter school, while enrolling in grad school to get her administrator’s license. Not long after, Symphony came to Woodlands, where she finds love and support from students and faculty alike.

Symphony has seen a lot of kids during her years as a teacher and administrator. “I’m very aware,” she says, “that students don’t come into the classroom as these empty vessels ready to get all the knowledge that teachers have. So that makes it easier for me to empathize with them, because I recognize that they, too, are human.”

Why does she love her job? “Young people just bring a spark of joy,” she says. “No one could give me any amount of money to change careers.”

Symphony has a beautiful analogy about where she is now. “I look at my journey in education as a garden,” she explains, comparing her students to seeds that need to be nurtured and cared for. “I have to give them everything they need to be great.”