Dr. Swan named Superintendent

Dr. Swan named Superintendent of Burke County Public Schools
Posted on 06/07/2021

Morganton, NC – Monday, June 7, 2021

The Burke County Board of Education has selected Dr. Mike Swan to serve as Superintendent of Burke County Public Schools beginning July 1, 2021. Dr. Swan was chosen from a competitive field of 13 applicants.


Dr. Swan's philosophy of education stems from his desire for students and staff to feel supported and valued in order for success and growth to occur. Ultimately, his focus is to keep students and staff safe and healthy while maintaining an environment for students to succeed academically and prepare for a career and college. 

Dr. Swan said, “I would like to thank the Burke County Board of Education for giving me this opportunity to serve as Superintendent of Burke County Public Schools. I have a passion to see every student in our district succeed, and I am looking forward to continuing the momentum we have gained as a district over the past decade. We have caring and compassionate educators in Burke County Public Schools who share my vision of student success as we prepare the next generation for a productive life after high school graduation. The students, teachers, staff, and community are what make Burke County Public Schools a top-ranked school system, and I am ready for the challenge of leading us post-pandemic and taking us to the next level.”

Burke County Board of Education Chair Buddy Armour said, “Dr. Swan has the ability to solve problems and do it with the equity that is needed to be fair to all. He has a passion for Burke County and brings leadership experience to the role while at the same time having an overall genteel personality that people respond to. His longevity in Burke County Public Schools brings us stability. We all have been through a lot in the last 15 to 16 months and stability is important. Dr. Swan is the right person to continue to move this great school system forward.”  

Dr. Swan is a 23-year veteran educator in Burke County Public Schools. He was recruited out of West Virginia University to become a fifth-grade teacher at Chesterfield Elementary School in 1998. He also taught at Ray Childers Elementary School and served as assistant principal at Liberty Middle School, Heritage Middle School and Freedom High School before becoming principal at Heritage and later at Freedom. In 2016, he was named the district’s first Director of Student Services. In December of 2020, he was named assistant superintendent and in April of 2021, he was named interim superintendent.


Dr. Swan’s goals as superintendent for the district include high school graduation, workforce development, technology, developing school leaders, community partnerships and overall staying student-centered.


Dr. Swan’s first job out of high school in West Virginia was working on barges on the Ohio River. While he remembers it being hard and dangerous work, he also said it was life-changing work. As a high school graduate in the early 1990s, he was unsure what he wanted to do with his career. The year off from school helped give him direction. He knew he wanted to impact the lives of others and eventually decided to do that by becoming an educator. A product of a community college in West Virginia, Swan went on to earn his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Elementary Education from West Virginia University. After moving to North Carolina, he obtained a Master’s of Arts degree in School Administration from Gardner Webb University and completed his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Western Carolina University in 2020. Dr. Swan’s community volunteer work includes serving on the boards of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Committee, Burke County United Way, Burke Development Inc. and the Industrial Commons Steering Committee; he also is a member of Morganton Rotary.


Dr. Swan is married to Sara Swan, an instructional coach for Burke County Public Schools, and they have a son, Walt, who attends UNC Chapel Hill and a daughter, Hadley, who will be in first grade in the Global Immersion Program at Mountain View Elementary School. Dr. Swan enjoys spending time with his family, hunting and being on the lake. 

Dr. Swan’s initial contract is for a four-year term.

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