by: Jazzy Potter
Jackie Swanson is a new Teacher at Central. She started teaching the third grade 34 years ago in 1976 at Cclee Elementary, in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Her interest in teaching started as a sophomore in college. She was going to school to be a civil engineer. While going to school she also attended the Cathedral and helped teach Sunday school for second graders. Swanson then realized she loved kids and could make teaching her career, so she transferred to Northern State University to start her career in teaching. “My favorite part of teaching kids is just being in the mix. Everything I want to know, kids teach me.” For a while, she even got rid of her desk so she could be closer to the kids and not feel separated behind a desk.
Knollwood was the third school in Rapid City that Swanson taught in. She taught kindergarten and then fourth grade. She stayed there four years, long enough to find Bret, the man she wanted to marry after years of being a single mom. They were in a relationship for ten years before they got married. They decided to get married July 8, 2000, and have been married for ten years. That makes a total of twenty years that they have been together! He now teaches English at Black Hills State, and he is also on the Rapid City Area Schools school board. He has been teaching for 25 years.
Swanson has four children. Lindsy, age 30, provided her with her three grandchildren, Keira, Reece, and Tripp. Ashley, age 29, is currently a school administrator in Minneapolis. Next is Melonie, age 26, she is an industrial designer in Savana, Georgia. Finally, John is her youngest at age 24. John attends Black Hills Tech and works full time making granite counter tops.
Swanson likes going on hikes with her husband and dogs, reading, gardening, and meditating. She admits that she was “not a fan” of high school. She didn’t like the social cliques that were in high school. However, she liked to be involved. She was a cheerleader, along with being in drama, student council, and pep club at Central High School. “Once a cobbler always a cobbler” says Swanson. Though she left for some time, she came back and now teaches in the Lakolkiciyapi room in D218, planning to be here until she retires.