Greater Latrobe superintendent to retire in July
Judith Swigart, after seeing Greater Latrobe School District through its first new school construction project in more than four decades, is preparing to retire as the district superintendent this summer.
The school board Tuesday accepted Swigart’s resignation, for retirement, effective July 31.
Swigart, 61, of Unity, said it’s time for her to enter the next chapter in her life.”I’m of that age,” she said, adding, “There’s a lot of good things I’m looking forward to.”
She said she plans to spend more time with her husband, David, and the rest of her family — including her granddaughter and another grandchild on the way.
Swigart has overseen several major building projects during her nearly 11-year tenure as the district’s top administrator.
Beginning in 2012, those projects included: Renovating a former Red Cross office, on Latrobe’s Lincoln Avenue, as the district’s central administration building; constructing an athletic and wellness complex on the junior high/senior high campus in Unity; and improving security at the junior high entrance while developing a creative arts corridor for that school.
On Dec. 4, Swigart helped welcome students to a new Latrobe Elementary School, a $24.8 million facility that replaced a century-old building and represented the first construction of a new district school in 44 years.
“I’m proud of all the work that and the design that the administrative team and teachers and everyone put into it,” Swigart said of the new school. “It really is a statement of the support of the (school) board for our students.
“It’s a difficult thing to invest that kind of money in a new building, in today’s age especially. I’m really proud of it. When I walk through the halls, it just brings a smile to my face.”
Swigart also is credited with leading development of the district’s Career Pathways program for students and helping to establish the nonprofit Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation, which spearheaded a $5 million capital campaign for district programs in academics, arts and athletics.
Another highlight, she said, has been the part she’s played in the board’s decision to hire educators and support staff. “That’s what it’s all about — the staff,” she said.
Several board members thanked Swigart for her service.
“You made us proud of our community and our school,” Dr. Michael Zorch told her. “You’ve done a fantastic job.”
When Greater Latrobe hired Swigart, in September 2008, she became the district’s first female superintendent while returning to her Westmoreland County roots.
A 1975 graduate of neighboring Derry Area High School, she spent the better part of her 40-year career in public education at positions in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. Starting as a business teacher at Nazareth Area High School, she served a stint as assistant principal at Shawnee Intermediate School, beginning in 1996. In 1998, she returned to the Nazareth Area district, serving as assistant middle school principal, high school principal and then assistant superintendent.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .