Kevin Schwenk, former Director of Bands, Theatre and Choral Activities for Northampton High and Middle School has announced his entry as a write-in candidate for the At-Large Representative for Northampton County School Board in the November 7 election.
Schwenk obtained his undergraduate degree and a Master of Arts degree in music from Radford University in Radford, Virginia where the majority of his family still resides. This will be his fifth year living on the Eastern Shore. He says he is proud to call it home, and though he may be a “come here,” he feels he is a “belong here.”
While completing his Bachelor’s Degree, Schwenk taught, counseled and mentored gifted students at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Performing Arts. Throughout his graduate studies, he served as an Assistant Director of Bands & Choral Clinician at Radford High/Dalton Intermediate School in Radford, Virginia. After completing his Master’s Degree, he was offered a position as Music Educator at Kiptopeke Elementary. One year later he was granted his transfer request to Northampton High/Middle School to revitalize a diminishing music program. Schwenk says that by building strong relationships with students, families, staff, and the community, he was able to recruit more than 30 new band members and created two new choral groups. He also began rebuilding the theatre arts program, producing and directing two successful public performances. Under his guidance, the band and chorus participated in the Fiesta-Val Competition in Williamsburg, Virginia in 2016 where both groups placed first in their respective divisions. Most recently, Schwenk spearheaded a massive fundraising effort to support the band and choral group’s participation in the World Strides Heritage Music Festival Competition in New York City where the choir placed second and the band placed third in their respective divisions. He says that participating in this festival allowed the students an opportunity to see that there is a world out there much bigger than the Eastern Shore, inspiring them to further excel in their other studies.
Northampton Public School Parent Meghan Neville says, “Kevin is hardworking, dedicated, and meticulously organized. His attention to detail and ability to follow-through on difficult projects is truly amazing. His commitment to the students, parents, guardians, faculty, and staff of Northampton County Public Schools is fueled by his enthusiasm for education, passion for the arts, and empathy for students and parents. He sees himself as a part of every student and parent’s village. He is here to help each of us become our best self.”
During his time with the Northampton County Public Schools, Schwenk served as Building Representative for the Northampton County Education Association (NCEA), advocating for our teachers and staff. He was also a member of the Northampton High School Building Leadership Team, and held the title of Performing Arts Department Chair for Northampton High School (2016-17).
Through these leadership roles, coupled with his experience as an educator in Northampton County Public Schools, Schwenk says he knows he can make a difference. He understands that supporting students, families, teachers and staff is vital to the success of our school division. “I believe that retaining quality educators, focusing on the needs of the students, increasing parent and community engagement, and exercising fiscal responsibility are the best ways to bring about positive change.”