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Dr. Swarzman stands before educators seated at tables in a conference.

About Dr. Joyce Burick Swarzman

Throughout her lengthy career in education, Dr. Swarzman sought to treat teachers as professionals and equip them with the research and training they needed to meet the needs of their students. She spent more than 20 years at the helm of Corbett Prep.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Swarzman received her B.A. degree from Ohio State University. She received her M.A. in Counseling, her M.Ed. in Supervision and Curriculum, and her Doctorate in Teacher Education, all from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Dr. Swarzman has extensive experience as a classroom teacher, having taught in the inner cities of Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

Dr. Swarzman joined Corbett Prep – then Independent Day School – in 1996. At the time, she was the director of the University of South Florida’s Suncoast Area Teacher Training program. She planned to stay at IDS for just two years. It turned into more than two decades.

In 2021, the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) recognized her as a “teacher’s teacher” with the prestigious Edgar McCleary Service Award. “You create magic,” Dr. Barbara Hodges, executive director of FCIS, told her during the award presentation.

Dr. Swarzman brought to IDS/Corbett Prep her commitment to professional development, hosting conferences in cooperative learning, social-emotional learning and brain-based communication. She personally trained more than 20,000 teachers locally, nationally and internationally. She created the research-based M.O.R.E. Model (Multiple Options for Results in Education) with strategies designed to create a brain-friendly learning environment, and she traveled to Spain and China to share those methods with schools worldwide. Her educational theories are detailed in the 2004 book It’s All about Kids: Every Child Deserves a Teacher of the Year.

In January 2023, Dr. Swarzman passed away peacefully at the age of 75 following a long fight with ALS.


Remembering Dr. Swarzman

Corbett Prep has established the Dr. Joyce Burick Swarzman Teacher Development Fund to celebrate and continue her legacy. In March, the school hosted a celebration of life in her memory.

A Leadership LegacySupport the FundThe Voice of JoyceA Celebration