LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Ashley Swartz

Position: Special Education Teacher
School: Lafayette Elementary School
School District: District of Columbia Public Schools
City, State: Washington DC, DC

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Ashley Swartz was nominated by a family member, Matthew Swartz.

Mrs. Swartz comes from a family of teachers, and it's no surprise that she has that passion for teaching as well. She's a special education teacher who loves working with children and sees her students' disabilities as abilities. Mrs. Swartz is devoted to making a difference and has a work ethic that doesn't quit.

"Teaching is a hard, draining job that will demand all that you can give sometimes," Matthew Swartz said. "You’ve got to be able to have some balance in your life, and Ashley has found that balance. There are very few teachers who can be effective by cramming everything they need to do, into the hours allocated by the average teacher’s contract.

From her classroom management skills to her ability to juggle many different age groups, Mrs. Swartz is always making accommodations and modifications to support her student's needs. Staying organized helps her stay on track and spend more time with her students.

"Ashley has a willingness to reflect and is able to ask why things went the way they did, both on the good and the bad days," Matthew Swartz said. "Each day is a new day that she conquers with a smile."

Being one of the only teachers of her kind in a school of 800 students, Mrs. Swartz tirelessly advocates for all. She collaborates with other teachers to help make Lafayette Elementary School the best it can be.

Mrs. Swartz has the understanding that being a great teacher is a constant struggle to improve. She focuses on the needs of her students and is always putting others before herself.