KNEA President- Sherri Schwanz

Sherri Schwanz is a 6th through 8th-grade choral music and music appreciation teacher in the Lansing USD 469 on leave to serve as the Kansas NEA President. Prior to teaching at Lansing Middle School, Sherri taught pre-k through 5th-grade general music and choir at Lansing Elementary School. Education has been an integral part of Sherri’s life; her grandmother was a long-time educator as well as numerous aunts and uncles. Her mother was a paraprofessional during her childhood.

When Sherri was in elementary school, her family moved from Hesston to Fort Scott so her father could join the family business of building grain elevators throughout the Midwest. She has stayed in Kansas throughout her life; graduating from Fort Scott High School then obtaining a Bachelor of Music Education from Baker University and then a Masters of Educational Leadership from Pittsburg State University.

Sherri has been a leader in her local school district, KNEA, and NEA. She has served as the chair of her school’s site council, district leadership team, a mentor to incoming educators, chair of the evaluation tool committee, and chair of the Lansing Professional Development Council. Sherri regularly presents professional development to educators. She has been her local president, building representative and served on her local negotiations team. She is also a member of the Kansas Music Educators Association, the Kansas Choral Directors Association and has been a guest choral clinician.

Sherri has served in many leadership roles in the Pony Express and former Crossroads UniServ as a UniServ president, UniServ secretary, and UniServ administrative board member. She has been the KNEA Secretary-Treasurer, chair of the KNEA Budget and Audit Committee, UniServ Review Committee, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, the KNEA Bargaining Academy and several KNEA commissions. Sherri has also been a KNEA trainer for local leaders, new presidents, and the REACH emerging leaders training. As KNEA Vice President, she served as the KNEA representative to many education coalitions including the Kansas Enrichment Network, Learning Forward Kansas, and Kansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development – to name a few. Sherri is a member of the KNEA Executive Committee and KNEA Board of Directors, KNEA Organizing Institute Team, and Kansas Political Action Committee.

Sherri served as co-chair of the NEA affiliate Vice Presidents. From 2013 to 2014, she was the co-chair of the NEA affiliate Secretary-Treasurers. She was on the team to plan the secretary-treasurer curriculum and facilitated professional development. From 2009 to 2012, Sherri was selected to the National Education Association Women’s Leadership Training Program, training emerging leaders across the nation. She has also attended the NEA summit, several western regional leadership conferences and was elected as a delegate to many NEA representative assemblies.

Sherri has two children, Bryan and Bethanie. Bryan is an early career educator in a Kansas public school. Bethanie is at Pittsburg State University and involved in music while she pursues a nursing career. Sherri’s husband, Brian Schwanz, is Director of Human Resources for De Soto USD 232. In Sherri’s spare time, she enjoys spending it with her family and going to various KU sporting events.