KNEA President- Sherri Schwanz

Sherri Schwanz is a 6th through 8th grade choral music and music appreciation teacher in the Lansing USD469 Middle School on leave to serve as KNEA 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 and her mother was a paraprofessional during her childhood.

When Sherri was in elementary school her family moved from Hesston, Kansas, to Fort Scott, Kansas, 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 finally a Masters of Educational Leadership from Pittsburg State University.

Sherri has been involved in leadership throughout her career. She is involved in leadership 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 a part of her local negotiation team.  Sherri is also a member of the Kansas Music Educators Association and Kansas Choral Directors Association and has been a guest choral clinician.

She has served in many leadership roles in both the Pony Express UniServ and Crossroads UniServ; UniServ president, UniServ secretary, and UniServ administrative board. Sherri has been KNEA Vice President, KNEA Secretary-Treasurer, chair of the KNEA Budget and Audit Committee, UniServ Review Committee, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, the KNEA Bargaining Academy and many 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; Kansas Enrichment Network, Learning Forward Kansas, and Kansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development to name a few. Sherri is been a member of the KNEA Executive Committee and KNEA Board of Directors, KNEA Organizing Institute Team, and Kansas Political Action Committee. Sherri was a co-chair of the NEA affiliate Vice Presidents and 2013 – 2014 she was the co-chair of NEA affiliate Secretary-Treasurers.   She was on the team to plan the secretary-treasurer curriculum and facilitated professional development.  2009 – 2012 Sherri was selected to the National Education Association Women’s Leadership Training Program. She has traveled throughout the nation training emerging leaders. 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 enjoys bowling, golf, singing and is in management with a retail company. Bethanie is a registered nurse at a hospital in southeast Kansas and has a passion for end of life care. Brian Schwanz, Sherri’s husband, is in education – oversees secondary education in a local public school. In Sherri’s spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, including two pups.