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Winter 2014

SWIFT's VISIONING DAY Hosted By: Swift's North Star Committee

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25 8:00 am - 3:00 pm Student artists envision Swift’s campus in 2020.

In this



Dyslexia dash Swift School was a platinum sponsor at the 2013 5K!


let’s dance The Middle Division danced the night away at the Arctic Blast Winter Formal.


turkey time The Lower Division performed Thanksgiving skits and poems for parents.

The Annual Fund For Swift 2013-2014 LET’S PROVE THAT We are 100% for our kids Gifts to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible and bridge the 12% gap between tuition and the actual cost of educating your student. Last year’s Annual Fund gifts were applied to: • Swift’s first-ever dedicated Dining Hall • A new indoor Physical Education facility used by all students • Four additional classrooms • An office for our Guidance Counselor • A separate Clinic Gifts are used to benefit current students. This year’s Annual Fund will be used to: • Enrich your student’s experience through programmatic enhancements • Attract and retain the best faculty 100 percent participation in the Annual Fund for Swift is crucial to the success of our program. We ask that every member of our community (parent, board, faculty and staff) contribute. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated by Swift and our students.

Courier January

9 12 14-17 20 23 24 25 30 30

5th Grade Parent Meeting Swift Family Bowling Event Muffins with Mom MLK Day (No Classes) LD Conferences (LD No Classes) MD Conferences (MD No Classes) Visioning Day Giraffe Assembly (LD Dress Uniforms) 7th Grade Luncheon

February 4-7 Donuts with Dad 13 2014-2015 Enrollment Offers Issued 17 Presidents’ Day (No Classes) 19-20 Preview Days 21 Swift Summer Exploration Registration 27 Giraffe Assembly (LD Dress Uniforms) 28 Enrollment Agreements Due March 5 7 10-13 14 17-21 21 26 27 28

Winter 2014

Volume 4 Issue 2

nFeatures Dyslexia Dash.....................................................................3 Swift School was a platinum sponsor at the city wide event

Fall Festivities at Swift.........................................................4 Autumn Festival, Pumpkin Contest, and scarecrows, OH MY!

Let’s Dance.........................................................................5 The Middle Division danced the night away at the artic blast winter formal

Gala Updates.....................................................................9 Check in with this year’s Gala committee!treatretreat. retreat.

Celebration Assembly Middle Division Spring Fling Lower Division Performance Week Professional Day (No Classes) Friendship Week Stellar Gala Middle Division Day of Achievement Giraffe Assembly (LD Dress Uniforms) Report Cards Issued

Follow Swift School on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates and information regarding school activities.

In Every Issue Head’s Column ......................................................................................................... 2 Lower Division............................................................................................................ 7 Middle Division.............................................................................................................8 @SwiftSchool_GA

Fine Arts .......................................................................................................................11 Athletics



Swift Scene.............................................................................................................. 13 Winter 2014


nHead’s Message


Richard Wendlek Glad tidings for 2014! I trust the Holiday Season provided you with the opportunity to enjoy family and friends and allowed for a brief respite from the ordinary. After more than 3 years of my wife and I commuting back and forth from Tampa, I am pleased to say that we shared the season with our own family in Roswell for the first time; it was delightful! The New Year is almost always associated with new beginnings - for some resolutions, for others new hopes, new dreams and a renewed determination to accomplish important things. The same is true of many institutions. At Swift the New Year represents great progress in the strategic planning cycle; a determination among Swift’s Board of Trustees, executive leadership, and the faculty to continue forward movement in creating the school where dyslexic learners thrive. On Saturday, January 25 the Swift community will gather for Visioning Day, where the results of the stakeholder surveys completed last October will be unveiled. At the conclusion of the day the community will have a good indication of the direction of school affairs over the coming several years; indeed, a new vision for Swift School will emerge. This is exciting business for many reasons, and primary among them is the fact that Swift School touches the lives of so many in highly positive, transformative ways. You should have received several announcements about Visioning Day and e-vites as well. I look forward to your participation in this key event. The fall was action-packed and flashed by like lightning! Activities of all sorts - concerts, festivals, competitions, retreats, athletic events, professional development, dances, and of course the strategic planning cycle have all helped to keep us on the move. I am pleased to report that more educational experts from the Metro area and the nation visited Swift during this period than in the School’s previous history. They came to review an educational model at Swift that provides dyslexic students with full educational opportunities and experiences. Among them was Dr. Peggy McCardle, author and consultant who is the former Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institutes of Health. Just before the winter break Dr. McCardle addressed a select professional audience on the topic of educational

Executive Committee

programming for dyslexics. Dr. Robin Morris, Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation at GSU, also visited Swift to participate in timely discussions concerning balanced educational programming for dyslexics. Research findings concerning the dyslexic brain-type and related educational programming are of keen interest to these top researchers. Their advocacies are most reaffirming as Swift continues to build programming that recognizes the longer term benefits for students in this school environment. Moving forward, further programming that addresses the talents of the dyslexic brain-type will be coupled with instructional methodologies that address reading fluency and comprehension and written expression. The approach of ‘fixing’ the dyslexic brain-type is being replaced with programming that addresses the natural strengths of our students while providing students with strategies that allow them to develop greater right brain and left brain balance. Generally young people with dyslexia tend to do better in tasks and jobs that allow for the expression of creativity and the manipulation of space. Many have advanced interpersonal skills. Others possess a strong ability in expressive language. A survey of 300 self-made millionaires found that 40 percent had been diagnosed with dyslexia. A larger survey of 5000 millionaires found that more than half reported early struggles in school. Some highly successful business leaders with dyslexia are Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Enterprises; investment banker Charles Schwab; Cisco CEO John Chambers; Craig McCaw, who pioneered the cellular industry, and Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s. The list goes on and on. Go to

Dr. Richard Phillips, Chair Laurie Green, Vice Chair Peter Williams, Treasurer Jeff Kudlata, Secretary

Trustees Jason Butler Dr. Paul Cohen Robert Gray Laura Ries Paul Schur Gail Swift, Emerita Richard Wendlek, Ex officio

Administration Richard J. Wendlek, Head of School Dr. Andrea Salapka, Associate Head Karen Buttermore, Director of Development Paul Foltz, Business Manager

Parent Association Co- Presidents Allison George and Debbie Hogan

One of the most exciting aspects of our work with Swift students is providing them opportunities to uncover their unique talents and to then observe those talents unfold.

Rich Wendlek Head of School

2 WINTER 2014

Swift School 300 Grimes Bridge Road Roswell, GA 30075 678.205.4988

Dyslexia Dash




1. Lexi Iannone and her family smile for a quick picture before beginning the Dyslexia Dash 5K. 2. Lauren Head (R) and friend get ready to race. 3. Mrs. Carolyn Berk cheers on her students participating in the Dash. 4. In spite of the rain, participants had a great time supporting Swift at the 2013 Dyslexia Dash.


winter 2014



1 During the month of October, the Swift School Parent Association provided ample opportunity for Swift Students to celebrate the autumn season and showcase their talents. The students began their week-long autumn celebration by participating in a pumpkin decorating contest. Students in all grades were asked to decorate a pumpkin as their favorite book character. Pumpkins varied from Wizard of Oz characters to Amelia Bedelia to Rapunzel. The pumpkins were displayed in the school and were used as decorations for the Autumn Festival. Fifth grade students and their families created scarecrows to also use as decorations at the Autumn Festival. Fifth grade students and their parents decided on a costume and a theme and had the opportunity to create a scarecrow together to showcase at the festival. The Autumn Festival took place on Swift’s campus on Saturday, Oct. 26. The festival had more than 550 people in attendance. Activities at the festival included: a mechanical bull, inflatable obstacle courses and slides, dancing, games, a bake sale and cupcake bar, a balloon artist, a teacup spinning ride, and a popcorn machine. Food was donated by The Varsity and Dippin Dots. Swift School’s annual Swift-O-Ween celebration took place on Thursday, Oct. 31. Students dressed in Halloween Costumes and had a parade on the front lawn. Participants in the Pumpkin Decorating contest were recognized at a small ceremony following the parade honoring their hard work.

4 WINTER 2014




1. Mrs. Kathy Sweeney’s First grade class celebrates Swift-O-Ween. (L-R) Celia Bixler, Luke Etheridge, Taylor Hayes, Michael Houlihan, Andrew Higbee, and Declan Cooley. 2. (L-R) Jamie Kiely, Nick Kiely, Brian Dwane, and Mindy Dwane created a SpongeBob Squarepants themed scarecrow to help decorate the Swift Autumn Festival. 3. Madeline Ariail poses with her Snoopy pumpkin and gourd creation. 4. Koltun Dixon is all smiles as he takes his turn on the mechanical bull.

Let’s Dance


The Dining Hall was transformed into an Arctic Blast for the Middle Division Winter Formal. Our Middle Division students looked marvelous and danced the night away under the twinkling lights and snowflakes. Everyone had a wonderful time.


3 1. (L-R) Megan Fritze, Jenna Dodd and Katie Elema take a quick break. 2. Grant Meyer shows his Christmas spirit. 3. Marcella Wicklin and Sean Murphy dazzle on the dance floor with their classic moves. 4. (L-R) Matt Davis, Josh Butler, Jack Sasser, Sean Murphy and Cameron Carr mug for the camera. 5. (L-R) Madeline Ariail and Caroline Hegwood play with the photobooth props.


5 WINTER 2014


Thanksgiving presentations for the Lower Division took place during the week of Nov. 18-21. Parents were invited to see the skits, hear the creative poems and enjoy the whimsical costumes and art projects created by their students. Thanksgiving Presentations are always a wonderful event at Swift and a great way to get ready for Thanksgiving Recess!

Reese Nickels and her mother, Kimberly, enjoy making a Thanksgiving craft together.

Mrs. Salapka’s 3rd grade class prepares to read their individual Thanksgiving poems for the parents.

(L-R) A.J. Ackerman, Margaret Hughes and Noah Huffman greet their guests before starring in their Thanksgiving themed courtroom drama.

The boys of Mrs. Litzky’s 5th grade class enjoy refreshments and fellowship after their presentation.

6 winter 2014

Lower Divisionn We had a fun-filled autumn at Swift School. It was a pleasure to socialize with you and to spend time together outside the school setting at the Parent and Faculty Mingle in October. Many of you braved the damp weather for the Dyslexia Dash at Riverside Park. It was wonderful to see so many Swift parents running alongside their children in the race to support such a worthy cause. What a beautiful day we had for the Autumn Festival! A large number of Swift families attended. Students enjoyed trying to master the bucking bronco and they enjoyed seeing their teachers and friends at such an entertaining event. Swift faculty appreciated the opportunity to attend the Georgia Independent School Association conference in November. There were many excellent learning sessions and our teachers enjoyed sharing with each other the current information they learned to become even stronger, more knowledgeable teachers. Weren’t the Thanksgiving presentations fantastic? It was wonderful visiting classrooms to see how talented our students are. I hope you all had the opportunity to see your child’s performance. The 5th Grade Dance was truly a lot of fun! The music, provided by our own in-house DJ, Coach Saylors, made the event even more enjoyable. The food and the decorations added to the festive event. The Winter Concert was incredible and showcased yet another way for our talented students to shine. I hope you had a warm and happy winter break and I look forward to sharing with you and your children a wonderful 2014. Best wishes, Kathi Francesconi

Please remember these winter dates! Jan. 12- Swift Family Bowling Event Jan. 14-17 Muffins With Mom Jan. 20- MLK Day (No Classes) Jan. 23 - Lower Division Conferences Jan. 25- Visioning Day

1. Jaelle Statia and Alexa Cooper sashay down the line during the third grade line dancing class.





2. 5th Graders enjoy each other’s company at the 5th Grade Dance. 3. Bradley Franke flashes a smile as he do-sidos 4. Lexi Iannone turns in her adorable Amelia Bedila pumpkin to the pumpkin decorating contest. WINTER 2014


nMiddle Division

The Middle Division has been a very busy place this quarter! You may remember that teachers and students spent several afternoons learning about and discussing the impact of bullying on a school environment. We explored different ways to be an “upstander” and signed a pledge against bullying. We appreciate our school counselor, Leah Molloy, for her efforts to help students learn to advocate for themselves and for each other.

The month of November seemed to pass in a blur! Our 8th grade parents attended High School Decision Night where they were able to meet with several private schools in the area and discuss high school placement needs. Our students collected shoebox gifts that were sent to needy children overseas. Several of our student council officers, Mrs. McGuire and Ms. Jozefov delivered the boxes for shipping.

We were very excited to add to our exploratory course offerings this quarter. Engineering for Kids holds class for 7th and 8th grade students each Friday. This quarter the learning module has been on aerospace. Students have constructed (and launched) a couple of types of rockets and have built hot air balloons. With Ms. Armorer being added to our staff as learning specialist, we were able to begin an introductory class of Spanish. Students are working in groups to learn some basics of conversation. Mr. Bradberrry has been teaching a percussion class to some of our 6th grade students this quarter and we hope to have other students take the class third quarter. December brought us the Winter Formal. Teachers and students enjoyed a night of dancing with plenty of good food and music by our own Rhett Saylors. Mrs. McGuire and several parent volunteers spent a good portion of the day transforming our dining hall into a beautiful setting for our Arctic Blast. There has also been evidence of an elf at work in the middle division. Students’ lockers were draped in tinsel, teachers’ doors were decorated, and various treats have been left for students. The last Friday of the quarter was spent in community service. One group of students visited a nursing home while the other group visited the airport to welcome home our troops. Exams followed the last week of the quarter. We look forward to many new experiences in 2014! Carol Madden

1. The Middle Division had a professional instructor teach them how to salsa. 2. The Middle Division Teachers decorated their doors and lockers to create a festive atmosphere for their students. 3. (L-R) Will Vesey, Harry Goldfein, Will Battle and Michael Rosen enjoy a nice lunch on the deck. 4. The Middle Division girls painted their pinkies blue in support of Anti-Bullying.



8 winter 2014


5. Taylor Pace pledges not to be a bully or a bystander.



Stellar Gala Updates

Dear Swift Families,

I hope you’ll join us on Friday, March 21 at The Atlanta Athletic Club from 7-11 p.m. We’re excited about the Great Gatsby theme and hope you’ll be inspired to dress the part or don cocktail attire and just share in the fun. This event is Swift’s largest fundraiser for the year. Monies raised will go directly to building a Media Center! The annual Gala and Auction could not happen without the generous support and involvement from our Swift community. The evening will include the following: • Cocktail Reception, Wine Pull and Silent Auction • Dinner, Dessert and Live Auction • Live Band and Dancing Only 300 tickets are available so plan to respond early! FOX 5 News Anchor Lisa Rayam will be the emcee for the evening. Seating: Parents who wish to sit together can be seated together at a table for 10 or 12. However, please be sure that your colleagues plan to attend and are not yet committed to another table. Please use one RSVP card listing all the people in your party and include full payment (multiple checks are fine). If you are not involved in a group table, the Gala Committee will be happy to seat you with other families in your child’s grade. A third option is Table Sponsor whereby you invite 8-10 people as your guests and receive a tax deduction for the cost of their tickets (excluding your own). We encourage Table Sponsors to bring neighbors, friends, and work associates to enjoy the fun and introduce them to Swift. Donations: This can be an item such as jewelry, home or fashion accessories, certificates from shops and restaurants, a stay at your vacation home or favorite hotel, a theme-based gift basket or tickets to a fun event. The possibilities are endless. Sponsor the event: There are many levels of event sponsorship, and your tax-deductible contribution will directly benefit our school. This is also a terrific and cost effective way to market your business to Swift families and their connections. Volunteering: Do you have a couple extra hours to give or just want to be part of the fun? Volunteers are always welcomed and needed to help with event set-up, auction check-out, data entry and more. Our little school has big goals for the kids and your participation in the Gala will help propel us to the next level! Purchase tickets, find donation and sponsorship forms and more Gala info on the Swift website at www. You can contact me directly at or at 404-431-7934. Sincerely, Susan Duncan

Thank you to our first Gala Sponsors! GALAXY Sponsor

Swift Parent Association

CONSTELLATION Sponsor Atlanta Orthodontic Specialists Principal Financial Group Casey Cote of Omience Event Planning Company

STAR Sponsor

Dr. Mary Hynes Danielak The Kopkowski Family Kevin and Deborah Smith of KSA Insurance

Stability Engineering (Pierre & Julie Coiron)

winter 2014


Andrew Walker, who attended Swift School for three years, is succeeding in musical theater, building his resume with several New York performances. His mom, Suzanne Moon, wrote this holiday letter to Coach Mel Smith in appreciation for Andrew’s time at Swift. 10 winter 2014

Winter Concert 3


1. Carly Perez wowed the crowd with her solo in Winter’s Lullaby.


2. Noah Huffman shared his stellar voice during a solo in The Polar Express. 4

3. The students acted out every song during the 3rd-5th grades general music portion of the concert. 4. The 5th grade students led the younger students during the concert. 5. Santa stopped by for the final number. 6. (L-R) Katherine Adair, Olivia Hall, and Scotty Owen starred in The Piglets’ Christmas.



All Primary, Intermediate, and Middle Division Chorus members will join singers from all over Atlanta at the Community Children’s Choral Festival on February 1, 2014. Congratulations to Alex Haertel, Shane Hendrickson, and Luke Evens on being selected to represent Swift at Georgia Music Educators Association’s Sixth Grade Statewide Honor Chorus. On February 14, these boys will travel to Tifton, GA to rehearse with singers from all over the state. Great job! Congratulations to the following students for being selected into the Kodaly National Choir: Cameron Carr, Alex Haertel, Sophie King, Jameson Listermann, Carly Perez, Riley Schutt, and Emily Suarez.

winter 2014



Spartans: 3-2 Lady Spartans 2-1 Swift student-athletes have been focusing on increasing fundamental basketball skills, increasing speed and cardiovascular ability through extended warm ups, and encouraging one another through challenging game and practice situations.


Alex Ardagna Maddi Ariail Will Battle Conrad Brown Matthew Buckis Nick Davis Luke Evens Harry Goldfein Caroline Hegwood Shane Hendrickson Owen Hodson Annie Howard Cooper Kennedy Ethan Kittle Elizabeth Lyda Marissa Martin Trevor Masse

Cooper Medved Will McHugh Grant Meyer Helen Moore Brayden Moraes Joey Muir Taylor Pace John Pereira Conor Rahiya Lauren Robb Jack Sasser Sophie Sasser Michael Slifer Nathan Ward Maggie Wehr Will Vesey

Sixth graders practice on the fairways.

12 winter 2014

Swift Scenen

Mystery Scientist, Julie Stoeffler, mother of Ansley Stoeffler, came to Mrs. Menshon and Mrs. Beck’s 2nd grade classroom to lead the class in a science experiment about earthworms. Students practiced their observational skills to learn about the earthworm. Students came up with their own hypothesis about whether the worm would prefer wet or dry, rough or smooth, light or dark, cold or warm. The students also learned about the anatomy of an earthworm and got to hold a worm.

Ms. Schlanger, Brandon Marks and Andrew Laliberte visit the Scholastic Book Fair hosted by the Parent Association. This year the Scholastic Book Fair made $9,693 in sales. Thank you to Book Fair Chairs, Jodi Bearden and Paula March, for all of your hard work to make this event successful.

Thank you to co-presidents, (L-R) Debbie Hogan and Allison George, and the rest of the Parent Association for hosting the Holiday Faculty Luncheon. The Swift Faculty and Staff were allowed to eat lunch, provided by Brio, together for one hour while volunteer parents watched the classrooms.

The 2nd grade students have “Quiet Critters” to sit on their desks during carpool to remind them to listen for their numbers. During the month of December, the second grade girls made “Quiet Critters” with costumes and clothes to send to the children on the oncology ward at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta. The nurses are taking the boxes of “Quiet Critters” and a sign with Swift’s logo stating the 2nd graders made these to display in the activity area of their floors. winter 2014


LAST CHANCE for 2014 Georgia Education Tax Credit!

Swift School is very grateful to the parents, grandparents, Board members, faculty and staff, plus friends of our school who reserved their 2014 Georgia Income Tax Credit before Dec. 31. All of those application reservations were processed the first week of January 2014. Georgia GOAL reports that they submitted 6,000 taxpayer applications in fewer than six days. High demand indicates that these education tax credits will most likely be completely depleted by January 31, 2014. Individuals or companies who want to participate should send their forms in NOW. Georgia GOAL Scholarship Inc. has committed to submit taxpayer applications to the Georgia Department of Revenue on the same day GOAL receives them. First step in the process is completing the forms and emailing or dropping them off to Karen Buttermore at school so that we can be sure that the scholarship money goes to Swift. Contact Karen at or at 678-205-4988, ext. 226. This program allows Georgia citizens to REDIRECT a portion of their state income tax obligation to a private school scholarship program. This year, S-corporations, LLCs and Partnerships are eligible to redirect up to $10,000 to a SSO and receive a tax credit. C-corporations may redirect up to 75% of the corporation’s Georgia income tax obligation. Swift encourages members of our community to participate in this win-win situation whereby the taxpayer receives a tax credit on their State Income Tax Return plus a Charitable Deduction on their Federal Tax Return while Swift receives scholarship money to distribute to eligible students.

Winter 2014  
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