Taiisha Swinton-Buck ’08 Announced as 2022 Launch Speaker – Susquehanna University

February 18, 2022

Taiisha Swinton-Buck ’08Alumna is Director of the Year 2021 in Maryland

Taiisha Swinton-Buck ’08, principal of Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore and 2021 Principal of the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals, will deliver the keynote address at the 164th launch of the Susquehanna University on Saturday, May 28.

Born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York, Swinton-Buck pursued her passion for English secondary education at Susquehanna and later earned her Masters in Educational Administration and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Drexel University.

Swinton-Buck is committed to supporting teachers in their work to expand educational opportunities for all students. The nine years she spent at a large, comprehensive high school with diverse populations were foundational in developing her leadership style, and she continued to see the importance of creating a positive climate and culture through a targeted professional development and full integration of social-emotional learning. for staff and students.

“Taiisha’s work to make education inclusive, equitable and accessible is an inspiration to me. Taiisha has taken the skills and values ​​she learned from Susquehanna, enriched by her lifelong educational and professional experience, and is now multiplying her impact with her students,” said Susquehanna University President Jonathan Green. “I can’t think of anyone more worthy to feature our graduates to deliver their message of perseverance, perseverance and hope for the future.”

Setting Records at Digital Harbor High School

As principal of Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore, Swinton-Buck had a record impact on attendance, grade point averages and graduation rates and created a strong secondary incentive system to reduce suspensions and incidents in class. She developed a positive behavioral reinforcement program that focused on the needs and wants of the students. For example, through her connection to a local beauty school, she set up an incentive program for her students to be rewarded with haircuts and hairstyles during their studies. Her mantra is “connection before content” and she knows most of her 1,300 students by name and always seeks to hear their story.

Swinton-Buck works just as hard to provide students with resources that impact their education outside of the classroom. To help with food insecurity, she helped secure a Safeway grant to fund grocery gift cards and catered meals for students and their families. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Swinton-Buck worked tirelessly to ensure all students had access to technology to participate in distance learning. Under his leadership, more than 1,100 laptops and 300 wireless hotspots have been deployed to his students to help bridge the digital divide.

Perhaps most importantly, Swinton-Buck has taken proactive steps to dismantle inequitable practices in the school by bringing equity to the fore through the appointment of a Dean of Equity and Anti-Corruption. racism and restructured its leadership team as an equity leadership team. She has developed a new school structure for the whole student that reinvents the structure of discipline to focus on the child and the whole community. This lens of restorative justice and equity is central to its mission to ensure that students receive an equitable education.

Celebrated by Today Show

In recognition of her tireless work on behalf of her students, Swinton-Buck was named Maryland’s 2021 Principal of the Year and appeared on the Today’s show with 100 of his students. During the national live broadcast, host Al Roker surprised every student at Digital Harbor High School with a free laptop and one year of free internet access.

After defending his thesis entitled “Teaching young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods when pedagogy is not enough: a phenomenological study of teachers as agents of change”, Swinton-Buck dedicated it to his students, saying: “I dedicate this thesis to every student who sat in my classroom or walked the halls of a school I led. You are my hope for the future and the fuel for my commitment to dismantle, disrupt and destroy all barriers that stand in the way of your greatness.

164 Susquehannaand The debut, celebrating the class of 2022, is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 28 at the Field House of the James W. Garrett Sports Complex.

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