Staff Spotlight: Stephanie Swank
We have the pleasure of honoring Stephanie Swank in this Staff Spotlight. Stephanie has been a part of the Hershey family for 25 years! She is our After Care Coordinator, Summer Camp Coordinator, and Children’s House Assistant. Stephanie grew up in Concord and continues to live in Lake County, close to our Concord campus. She lived in Breckenridge, Colorado for a short time and worked as a facility lead in their ski school program, which is when she fell in love with snowboarding.
Stephanie has been married to her Husband, Mike, for 20 years this December, and has three beautiful children: Michael, Ava, and Carter. Mike and Stephanie became “dog parents” two years ago to Mabel and have a 15-year-old Calico cat named Belle. Her happiest moment was becoming a mother and her favorite thing to do is snuggle with her kids and have a movie night.
Enjoy our full interview with Stephanie below:
Hi Stephanie, do you have a nickname?
Almost everyone calls me Stephanie with a few exceptions. My father has always called me Stephie and when I first came to Hershey, YCC guide Ellen Molnar, who was like a second mother, called me Stephie as well. There are still a few staff members that pull out that name and it brings me comfort from childhood and my fondest memories of Ellen.
That’s beautiful. Can you tell us what brought you to Hershey?
A friend of a staff member (Karen Dorsey) at the time had shared that the school was hiring for an assistant role in the After School program … and so, it began 😊.
And we love that you are here. What drew you to Montessori?
What draws me to Montessori would be the love of learning.
Tell us what you do at Hershey that is unique to you.
I wear a few different hats at Hershey, and I absolutely love it! I feel so lucky to see the children, especially in After Care, grow and develop throughout all their years at the school.
That must be amazing to watch! What would you say is your favorite part of your work at Hershey?
I would have to say that my favorite part would be observing a child move through the steps of independence. To see the smile of self-accomplishment or a small giggle of excitement when a child learns how to do something for themselves is breathtaking.
Where is your favorite place to go?
My childhood home! Getting together for Sunday dinners at my parents’ house with my siblings and extended family is the best!
We agree! What is your favorite book?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Do you have a favorite quote?
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
That is a great quote. Do you have a favorite movie?
The Harry Potter series.
A very popular favorite! Do you have a favorite Hershey memory?
This is a difficult one to answer, I have such grand memories of so many children, their families, and the staff that have been a part of Hershey for the last 25 years. I feel honored to have a connection to so many beautiful people. One specific memory would be when I was sitting at my son Michael’s graduation from Hershey’s Upper School and remembering the same feelings of emotion when we had his first day in the Parent-Infant program.
That must have been truly emotional. Since we are in this personal space with you, can you share with us who has made the biggest impact on your life?
This would be my husband, Mike. He inspires me with his commitment to overcoming challenges with a positive outlook on life.
Those are great traits to have in a spouse! How would your friends and family describe you and how would you describe yourself?
I believe my friends and family would say that I am a kind and loving person, someone who always tries to find the best in a person or situation. I would describe myself as an open and understanding person who is kindhearted.
What is the biggest life lesson you would like to share with others?
Take the time to enjoy the moment! We all have such busy lives, and I am grateful to have taken the time to stay in the small moments of life that are now beautiful memories.
That is excellent advice and a perfect way to conclude our time together. Thank you for allowing us to recognize you. It is truly a pleasure to get to know you better. On behalf of all the staff and families here at Hershey, we appreciate all that you do and all that you bring to our community. We are grateful to you!
I’m so proud of my bonus daughter. She has been part of my life much longer than the time married to my son. I have known her since she was about 13. She has inspired me to be a better human & I will always continue to try.