APS News Release

Renee Harber Appointed Principal of Swanson Middle School

Board appSwanson Principal Renee Harberroves three assistant principals

At its organizational meeting, the Arlington School Board appointed Renee Harber as Principal of Swanson Middle School. Harber is currently the assistant principal at the Career Center.

“Throughout her time in APS, Renee has gained a wealth of knowledge that makes her a well-rounded leader. Her National Board Certification gives her a deep understanding of middle school philosophy, curriculum, and students,” said Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy.

He continued, “She has an enthusiasm for teaching and learning, which she brings every day to energize students and staff that creates a level of comfort for families knowing their child will be cared for both academically, socially and emotionally.”

Harber received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Eastern Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in General Education from Canisius College. She also earned a Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership from George Mason University.

Harber has 25 years of experience in education, of which 20 has been for Arlington Public Schools. During her time in Arlington, Harber has served as a middle school math and science teacher, and assistant principal at Swanson Middle School and the Arlington Career Center.

Following several years at Swanson, Harber sought to expand her skills by mentoring teachers and designing professional learning for educators that would improve their practices. She became the Teacher Development Specialist in the Department of Instruction focusing on professional development and learning for teachers and staff throughout the countywide.

After her time in central office, she returned to Swanson to continue to build her classroom knowledge and experience as a classroom teacher, and then moved into the assistant principal position at Swanson. As an assistant principal, she led the work establishing Professional Learning Communities, mentoring new and seasoned teachers, and working collaboratively with staff to support inclusion and co-teaching practices for special education and ESOL/HILT. Under her leadership, close to 50% of Swanson’s HILT students made measurable gains in math classes due to co-teaching and inclusive educational practices.

After five years as an assistant principal, she moved the Arlington Career Center serving as an assistant principal and Director of Counseling. During her time at the Career Center, she has been instrumental in working with leadership to build Arlington Tech. She collaborated with math and science teachers and eighth grade counselors at all middle schools to identify, recruit, and support eligible students and their families to enroll and become part of Arlington Tech.Her appointment is effective July 10.In addition, the Board made the following appointments:

  • Heidi Smith has been named the assistant principal of Barcroft Elementary School
  • Robert Hanson was appointed assistant principal of Jefferson Middle School
  • Rebecca Irwin Kennedy was named assistant principal of Randolph Elementary School

Smith’s appointment began July 1. Hanson’s appointment begins July 10 and Irwin Kennedy’s begins July 17.