RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Richard Swanberg, former principal of Kate Smith Elementary School, has been named Distinguished Principal of the Year for Nevada by the state affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
This is the second state-level recognition for a Washoe County school principal this year.
Swanberg began his career with the Washoe County School District (WCSD) 23 years ago as a sixth-grade teacher at Hidden Valley Elementary School. After a decade in the classroom, teaching five different grade levels, he was hired as the assistant principal at Libby Booth Elementary School. In 2001, Swanberg became the principal at Alice Maxwell Elementary School in Sparks. Upon his departure six years later, Maxwell Elementary School was recognized by WCSD as a Distinguished Title I school. The same year, Swanberg transferred to Kate Smith Elementary School, which was designated “In Need of Improvement.” The majority of students attending Kate Smith lived in poverty, were students of color, and were current or former English language learners. In 2012, Kate Smith was recognized by the State of Nevada as a Title I Distinguished School and a Title I Reward School.
Swanberg earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Chico, his teaching certificate from Chapman University, and his Master of Arts in Education degree from the University of Phoenix. In his limited free time, he likes to spend time with his wife and three daughters, travel across the U.S., and read historical fiction novels.
Earlier this year, he was named an area superintendent at WCSD and will assume his new role in the fall.