PSUSD Board of Education Names Mike Swize New Superintendent

PALM SPRINGS – The Palm Springs Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday named Dr. Mike Swize as the new Superintendent of Schools, effective July 1, 2021.

Swize, who is currently PSUSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, will replace Supt. of Schools Dr. Sandra Lyon, who is retiring after five years in the post. The three-year contract salary is $260,000 per year.

“Dr. Swize has the experience, knowledge, wisdom, history and talent to take Palm Springs Unified to the next level,” Board of Education President Timothy Wood said in a prepared statement. “We are confident he is the right person to lead our team in pursuit of academic excellence and social and emotional well-being for all of our students.”

Swize, who is originally from Colorado and began his teaching career with Palm Springs Unified in 1990, has served as a teacher, bilingual programs coordinator, elementary and middle school principal and director of English Learners and Elementary Curriculum, before becoming Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in 2011.

“After 31 years in this District that I have loved since day one, I am so excited to continue to serve in this new role of Superintendent,” said Swize. “I vow to lead with our shared values of equity, outcomes for all students, collaboration and innovation at the forefront of all of our decision making. It is incredibly important to me to do this work in a way that continues to nurture our culture of respect for all of our students and families, and staff and community.”

Swize obtained his bachelor’s degree in history with an emphasis on Chicano Studies and Spanish from the University of Colorado, his master’s in Education Administration from Azusa Pacific University and his doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne.

While Swize has been a respected District Cabinet member for a decade, many colleagues and District families became more familiar with his Leadership capabilities over the past year as he managed the Educational Services team in their individual and collaborative roles serving students during the COVID-19 pandemic in distance learning and planning for the launch of a hybrid return to classrooms next month.

“Navigating through a pandemic has been an experience I, along with most educators in the country, had never anticipated,” said Swize. “To say it has been challenging is quite an understatement. At the same time, the experience has solidified my resolve that I am in the right place and work with the best team on the planet. I am ready to continue with this incredible team as we move our District forward.”


Image Sources

  • Mike Swize: PSUSD