Gary Swalley

Corpus Christi, TX | Years Taught: 1976–2010

Gary sponsors the Act I drama group, which produces and performs plays about saying no to drugs to elementary students and civic groups. He created Project 2001, the Ultimate Field Trip, an environmental research group where students do research on life in the 21st century in a unique blend of community involvement and enriching environmental experiences. He forms partnerships with other departments in the school, parents, civic organizations and community businesses. Annual classroom themes come from popular culture, doubling as an attention grabber and a learning tool. Previous themes have included Batman (Believe Achieve To Succeed) and Apollo XIII (Reach for the Stars). A quote on his wall reads, “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

Additional Recognition

  • 1994 • Illinois D.A.R History Teacher of the Year
  • 1993 • National Middle School Teacher
  • 1993 • Maxwell House Real American Hero Award for Community Service
  • 1992 • Reader’s Digest American Hero in Education Award
  • 1991 • Edwardsville Teacher of the Year
  • 1990 • Professional Best Award
  • 1990 • Learning Magazine’s Professional Best Award
  • 1990 • Rotary’s International Peace Award
  • 1989 • Fulbright to China
  • 1984 • Edwardsville Teacher of the Year
  • 1980 • Edwardsville Teacher of the Year