New Gainesville Elementary principal
At its May meeting, the Gainesville R-V Board of Education hired Erin Swofford as Gainesville Elementary School principal. Swofford has been the special education director for Ava Schools and assistant elementary school principal in Ava since 2016.
Swofford, the daughter of James and Alice Fleetwood, grew up in Ava and graduated from Ava High School in 1990. She earned a nursing degree in the mid-1990s and worked as a registered nurse at Cox South and Mercy hospitals in Springfield before returning to Ava to work as a school nurse.
While continuing that job, she earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Drury University and then continued on to earn a master’s degree in reading. She also earned a teaching degree and taught second grade at Ava Elementary School for 10 years while working toward her specialist’s degree in education administration, which she earned from Lindenwood University in 2015.
She is married to Dan Swofford, Ava High School’s football coach; they have a blended family of six children and four grandchildren.