Swain is Parent of the Year

Published 12:00 pm Friday, April 1, 2016

Pam Swain decided in the past year it was time to give back to the school system that will teach her three boys, and this week the school district gave thanks in return by naming her Parent of the Year.

Swain is senior vice president of the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and when not working or enjoying family time, she’s busy volunteering for the Lafayette County School District.

“I was completely humbled and surprised by the honor,” she said. “The things that I do just as a parent and someone in this community, I feel like it’s something that is our civic duty, so to be chosen for this honor just blew me away. I feel like I’m just doing what I need to do for my kids and for a school district that I absolutely love. This is kind of the cherry on top of what has been a really rewarding year of getting involved with the Lafayette County School District.”

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In the past year Swain has served as Parent Teacher Organization president for Lafayette Upper Elementary School, supported the PTO at Lafayette Lower Elementary School and served as president of the Lafayette Endowment Fund for Education.

“It’s the school district’s endowment, and it’s a revitalized foundation that’s been dormant for a couple years,” she said. “I, along with my board of directors, are working to revitalize that so we can make grants available to our teachers.”

One of the larger projects Swain tackled over the past year was in the summer with the car tag initiative. It required the pre-purchase of at least 300 Commodore car tags for the tag to become official with the state and for tag proceeds to benefit school projects. The effort garnered 359 tags, with more people still purchasing them the past few months.

Proceeds will first fund a playground for the upper elementary school, which currently does not have one and the students have to spend a portion of their break time walking to the lower elementary playground.

We are very fortunate to have Pam as one of our parents,” said LCSD Superintendent Adam Pugh. “She is always willing, with a positive and pleasant personality, to take on any task when asked. Pam was a vital part of car tag initiative and has helped with many fundraisers. She is truly an asset to Lafayette schools.”

Investing in county

Swain spends a couple hours every week working on different fundraising initiatives and is currently working on a spring fundraiser. She also attends Spirit Night weekly where a different area restaurant donates a percentage of that night’s profits.

Swain said she feels invested in the district since her oldest has been in the schools for five years and with her youngest, she will have 14 more to go.

“I felt like it was time for me to use some of my strengths and passion for our school district so that it can make an impact on our educational system,” she said. “We all love our children and want to do the best for them, so I just decided if there is something I could do that would raise money or raise awareness or make a difference in the education of my kids and everybody else’s kids, then I wanted to do that. It means a lot to me.”

Her eldest child is 9 and in the fourth grade at the upper elementary, the second is 7 and in the first grade at the lower elementary, and the third is 3 and will be in preschool next year. Swain said her kids love seeing their mom at school and are proud of her accomplishments while volunteering, which makes it more meaningful.

Swain said all the efforts are part of a team of Lafayette Countians rallying for their community and schools.

“Everything that I do, I don’t do alone,” she said. “There are so many supportive people who are on committees with me and boards of directors with me that really make all these things happen. It’s not something I do by myself — it’s a group of committed parents who work together for our school system to make the Lafayette County School District the best it can be.”