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Welcoming Principal Brian Swatland to Williamsville East High School!

By Anna Bella D’Amico

As East says goodbye to Mr. Scanzuso, former Assistant Principal of Williamsville North High School, Mr. Brian Swatland has taken his position as principal.

“Welcome to East,” said sophomore Sydney F.

Our new principal comes from an interesting background, having grown up close to East Aurora, attending Iroquois High School, and later Canisius College. He grew up on farms, and spent most of his summers hay-baling and cleaning animal stalls. In school he was an athlete, playing football, baseball, and wrestling. He received his undergraduate and master’s in physical education, and a master’s in educational leadership. He was also inducted to the Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame for his collegiate football career.

Mr. Swatland’s teaching career began in the spring of 1998 after he student taught at Williamsville North. He was then offered the position of both Assistant Track Coach, Assistant Football Coach, and Head Wrestling Coach. After, he took a job at St. Mark’s Catholic School in the city of Buffalo, while subbing in Williamsville. He became a long term substitute, and in 2001, he was offered a full time position at Williamsville North.

Mr. Swatland began his career as principal on Tuesday October 9, saying that his first day was “awesome.” He said, “There is such a difference between North and East. The students have so much freedom and are treated like adults because they behave like adults.”

Over his tenure as Assistant Principal of North, Mr. Swatland gained a lot of useful experience to draw upon as East’s new principal, especially since he often rose above the duties of the Assistant Principal. “I was able to learn ways to deal with parents and students,” he commented, citing his being an ‘overachiever’ as the reason for his continued learning in the role of both Assistant Principal and Principal.

When asked if he has any big plans for East, Swatland said there are no changes as of right now for East. He also went on to say, that East will retain all “wall-lessness” and that no new walls will be built.

As of right now, the number one goal for East is safety and ensuring that all procedures and policy allow for maximum student safety and comfort during the school day and in the event of an emergency. Mr. Swatland, among other members of East, the Town of Amherst, and the community are working diligently to moderate and review the emergency plans of East and to make sure that the physical safety of the entire building is the number one priority.

As many students are aware, East is in the process of getting a new music department, similar to the mass renovations done the athletic facilities.

“It’s about four years out, but the designs look absolutely beautiful. Once they are finalized they will be sent for a district wide vote on December 13,” Mr. Swatland said.

The new plans includes a new building that will house the chorus and band rooms, with the addition of new practice rooms, as well as a renovation of the current orchestra room, and the auditorium, all with a negligible tax increase for the community.

As with all new people to East, our unique culture takes some getting used to. Mr. Swatland had a run-in with our lack of walls when he walked through some science classrooms taking one of his first walk throughs. “I want to be visible in the hallways, but I feel like I’m interrupting the classes. I haven’t reached a level of comfort with the ‘wall-lessness.’”

On Mr. Swatland’s first day, East students greeted him with a decorated office, a present from Student Council. “We are so excited to have him,” said Erika C, senior. “ We are ready to see change.”

East students, in the general manner, were very welcoming to Mr. Swatland, especially after the rapid turnover of principals, with Mr. Taylor’s departure in 2016, and now with Mr. Scanzuso taking a position at District Office. “Don’t screw it up,” Mr. Scanzuso advised Mr. Swatland on how fantastic the students, teachers, and staff are of East.  He recommended that Mr. Swatland just simply observe and get involved with our community.

Outside of East, Mr. Swatland has a lot of fun playing with his six-year old son, as well as cooking, reading mystery and crime novels, and exercising up to four times a week.

“I appreciate the support that I have had so far,” Mr. Swatland said. “Please know that I am committed to the culture of excellence and only want to see great things for East.”

Mr. Swatland, Williamsville East welcomes you to your new school, and we hope you enjoy our eclectic and outstanding students, staff, and teachers. We wish you all the best in being a great principal; we know you will be!

 

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