Paul Swope Joins Staff At Forbes Road
Moving up the ranks quickly, the Needmore resident attained his Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Shippensburg Uni- versity in May 2004 and three years later through Walden University obtained his Master of Science in education, touching on areas such as curriculum, instruction and assessment. Always hoping to quench his ongoing thirst for knowledge, Swope was awarded his principal’s certification from Shippensburg in May 2010 at the young age of 28.
The son of county natives Karl and Sue Swope, Swope was certainly influenced by his father’s calling to be a truck driver, but remained firm since entering the first grade that he would someday be a teacher and grace the halls of a county school.
“As soon as I was old enough, I started riding along on road trips with my dad,” said Swope, who recalled he wasn’t cut out for the long distances and found himself quickly nodding off. “My first-grade teacher was Darlene DeShong, who was also my second cousin. From that point on, I had the mind set that I would be a teacher.”
Years later, Swope was fortunate enough to return to his alma mater of Southern Fulton and student teach for an eight-week stint under the direction of DeShong. In addition to considering DeShong to be a great role model over the years, he also looks back on his time with kindergarten teacher Nancy Brandt with much fondness.
Fresh out of college, Swope took the advice of friend and Central Fulton’s newest Superintendent Dwayne Northcraft and accepted a position a short distance from home with the Tuscarora School District. He logged one year teaching seventh-grade English before taking over in 2005 as a fourth-grade teacher at Montgomery Elementary, also in the Tuscarora School District.
“My favorite part of teaching has always been being with the kids and interacting and sharing with them,” said Swope, who went on to discuss the value of educational field trips even those as commonplace as the family farm or as exciting as science centers. “I’m going to miss that part of teaching the most, but I’m going to do my part and get out and be with the kids every day at Forbes Road.”
Having been quite content with teaching, Swope said he wasn’t sure when another career opportunity would present itself to return to Fulton County.
“My goal has always been to come back to Fulton County. I don’t want to go anywhere else,” he pointed out.
Described as being both “approachable and personable,” Swope said he has been busy interacting with the teachers and other staff at Forbes Road throughout the summer months and is looking forward to the students’ arrival for the start of school Wednesday. Swope also informed the “News” he hopes to not only have an open-door policy with other employees at Forbes Road, but also with parents, their children and the community as a whole.
“One thing I would like people to know is that I would like to see more involvement and interaction with the community. My door is always open. We’re here to help,” concluded Swope.