Swank Emphasizes Individuality and Connecting with Students

Jada Orr, Sports Editor

Emily Swank, an English teacher at Westerville South, inspires and connects with students in a special way.

Swank said that her favorite thing about South is the students and staff. She loves how everyone seems genuine in their words and actions.

As a teacher, she tries to view her students as a whole person, not just as a kid in her classroom for 45 minutes. She said English is not everyone’s favorite subject so she acknowledges that and tries to learn more about her students to build a connection with them.

Adeleigh Akins, a senior, said, “Swank is the most understanding teacher at South, and I look up to her as a mentor.” She also mentioned that Swank was always there when she needed to vent or talk about something. She said she gives great advice and genuinely cares about her education.

Swank graduated from Otterbein University, playing third base on their softball team. Currently, she is the head coach at WSHS.

She said she really loves coaching the Lady Wildcats.  She mentioned that when she first took over, many players didn’t really care about winning as much as they did about being in the yearbook or saying they play softball.  Her goal was to change that mentality, and Swank feels that this goal has been accomplished by stronger leaders, a JV team, and higher team GPA.

“It feels really good knowing that it is changing for the better,” Swank said.

Swank is really close with her family. Her dad has made a very big impact on her life by teaching her how to play softball and ski, which are both activities she still participates in during her free time.

She described her mom as “a goddess.” She has a younger brother, Ethan, who lives in Nashville, Tenn. , and a younger sister Katie who lives downtown Columbus.

Her relationships are very important to her, and she said she tries to stay in touch with all of her close friends. Swank has been married for three years to her wife Kim and has two dogs; Marley, who is part lab and part pitbull, was found in a barn and Maverick, who is part sheppard and part cattledog, was found on a highway in West Virginia.

Some of Swank’s hobbies include listening to music, which her favorite band is Rush, watching movies, cooking, and playing video games. She is reading “IT” currently and reads it every year throughout the month of October. She said it has been her tradition for the past three years to only read it during Halloween time, and it gives her something to look forward to for that month. But, she is also currently reading “Harlem Shuffle” by Colson Whitehead.