PHD, Former Executive Director of Academic Achievement, Whitnall School District
It is a sincere pleasure to write this letter of recommendation in support Don Schwartz. I have known Don for the past 15.5 years, first as a high school principal and then as a school district administrator.
From the moment I met Don, I recognized in him a deeply rooted passion for people and for enabling others to actively pursue their brightest futures. Don is always a forward thinker, an optimist, a problem-solver, and humanist. At the high school, we constantly struggled with ways to involve students in their community. I met Don at a local event, and once we started talking, I knew that the doors would open. Because of Don, we were able to establish a partnership with the Village of Hales Corners Fire/EMT Department. To this day, the department takes on up to two high school interns as EMTs every year. These students have gone on to college and secured jobs or even continued their educations because of this opportunity. Mr. Schwartz is never one to stop at just one success story. There are many, many instances where, formally or informally, Don has made this community, this area, into a better place for all. Be it his extensive work in truly saving the Hales Corners Pool, celebrating our home grown Olympian via an ice arena in the park, or facilitating job and internship placements for high school students, Don Schwartz believes in people and puts his faith in his community into action.
As a district administrator charged with developing a strategic plan for the school district, I immediately turned to Don for his involvement on our committee. True to form, Don Schwartz became the most involved and driving force in the extensive strategic planning sessions. He worked with staff, parents, student, school board members, community members, business partners, and politicians to develop plausible and real world solutions to the district’s commitment to college and career readiness. Because of Don’s work, the district had not only a strategic plan but also incredible action plans to meet and exceed goals, goals that closely tied the community to the students and staff of the school district.
Personally and professionally, I have found Don Schwartz to be an outstanding mentor, incredible thinker, and voracious problem-solver. His passion and compassion are contagious. In all honesty, I can state that this community would not look, feel, or be what it is today, a great place, without Don Schwartz. Because of him, the grass is greener, the community is stronger, and the future is brighter. I have seen it through the students and lives he has touched, including mine.