The next co-ordinator of the Professional Development program area will be Mark Swanson, a former dean of education and official with Alberta Education.
A former ATA local president, Swanson is the first external appointee to a senior leadership position with the Alberta Teachers’ Association since 1968, when Bernie Keeler was named executive secretary.
“I look forward with great anticipation to taking up the role of co-ordinator,” Swanson stated via email. “I am excited about joining the team at Barnett House, proud to be working for the teachers of Alberta and I am enthusiastic about making a difference in public education.”
Born and raised in Claresholm, Alta., Swanson held positions as both teacher and administrator in the Catholic and public school systems where he taught grades 5 to 12. He also served as registrar, responsible for teacher certification for the minister of education, and as executive secretary to the Council on Alberta Teaching Standards.
Following this role, Swanson was dean of the faculty of education at Concordia University in Edmonton. Most recently, within Alberta Education, Swanson has been responsible for the accreditation of private schools.
Swanson holds two bachelor degrees — in education and arts — two master's degrees, in arts and education, and a doctorate in education. He is a two-time recipient of the Premier’s Award of Excellence, winning in 2006 and 2010.
At its October meeting, Provincial Executive Council named Swanson as the replacement for the retiring Mark Yurick. Swanson assumes his new role Dec. 1.