Roots Running Deep........................Like Corn!

Grew up in the cold northeast Iowa, in a town called Calmar to two wonderful parents, Beverly and Kyran. I learned the value of wKevin Lutkenhaus School Picture at LaBelle Middle Schoolork from them as my father rain a milk route (mile collection from the dairy farms) and my mother was a superb housewife, wife and mother to the three of us.

I graduated from South Winneshiek Community School, and yes, did it without Google! I played a lot of sports, learned to play the trumpet, and was "into" the social scene. Driving around at $.34 per gallon of gas is all we needed. Things we liked were the teachers, those who had a tremendous influence on our lives. Amazingly, the ones I remember, are the ones who were tough on me, but unconditionally cared for me. Some of the great ones were Mr. Charles Ehler, Mr. James Barkema, Mr. Michael Wilder, and who cannot forget, Mr. Shileny and Coach Calvert. Mr. Johnson, was also one of those classes we looked forward to.

Went to Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and played a little basketball and baseball. Graduated from Wartburg College in 1984, with an education major, AFTER meeting my future bride, Beth "Buckley". She was the foundation of Centennial Ground!!! As of this writing, we've been married 33 years already! She's been the best thing to happen to me. The Wartburg experience, like most college places, provided a place for me to play sports, have a great time and get an outstanding Liberal Arts Degree. One of the individuals who had the greatest influence on me was Dr. Richard Walker, and Mr. Don Canfield. These two, Especially Dr. Walker, were the greatest influences on me.

After marriage, moved to Fremont, NE for a couple months, before landing a great start in San Antonio. By the way, the Spurs were really bad during this era. It was only George Gervin and Artis Gilmore. It was here that I realized I did not want to paint, remove bushes, and those kind of "handyman chores". I have great respect for those who do, but it wasn't me.

San Antonio, Texas

Finishing this past school year, I have spent 33 years in public education. The first, and some of the best experiences in the San Antonio Independent School District, in San Antonio, Texas. There, I taught elementary physical education and health. What a great experience. I learned a lot in an impoversed area. Also served as the athletic director at a local private school, in addition to serving as boys basketball coach. At the time, coaching and teaching is really what I wanted to do. Coach James Barkema, also a Wartburg Grad, encouraged me to do this from the start, and I never looked back.

LaBelle, FL

Moving to Labelle, Florida was a different world. Having grown up in a relatively small town, it was new, but yet old. Met some great people along the way, My job required that I become the Alternative Education Teacher at LaBelle High School, along with head basketball coaching as a Cowboy.

After the 1st year, my teaching and school service truly began. In a period of 18 years, I served as a head coach, assistant coach, teacher, webmaster, and technology specialist. The courses I taught included Intro to Computing (I Remember our first color monitor), Accounting, Business Law, Computer Applications, Web Design, Visual Basic, PC Support, and more. I was proud to have worked with some dynamic people, and especially, Scott Cooper who brought me to LaBelle, and took a chance with a young 29 year old. In 1998, I was the Hendry County "Workforce Development Teacher of the Year".

It was here where I began web development projects such as the following "outdated" and deleted sites:

1. Hendry County Economic Development Council - can't remember the URL, and the Wayback Machine does not list it.
2. (Personal site)
3. (Personal site - when dropped
4. (when I was planning on selling "buukuus" of stuff until people told me they'd never heard of it)
5. Caloosa Baptist Church, LaBelle
6. The Cowboy Closet of LaBelle High School - Selling all we could, and fixing technology as it comes!
7. Hendry County Area Housing Authority - Based in Clewiston and LaBelle.
8. - Student domain for web service and publishing.

Following Step 1 of LaBelle High School, I taught 5th Grade at Country Oaks Elementary School, and was voted, "Teacher of the Year" 2004 - 05. What a highlight! When your peers and parents choose you, it's the brightest moment. I cherish those days.
From COES, I went to LaBelle Middle School to serve as an assistant principal. During the 4 years there, personal fulfillment was obtained however, the Principal, didn't like my ties with the community, and therefore, I was dismissed where I went back to LaBelle High to start IT certification academies in CIW, Microsoft, and Adobe. We did well there!

In 2013, I went back to LMS, and served as an IT Support Person, a full time job in the heat of the State testing environment. Now, back in the classroom, we've got IT certifications here as well. Pleased and enjoying young people, we keep moving forward. It's vital that we continue to push to meet abilities, and become better than we think we can be.

I am truly blessed! I have a wonderful wife, Beth, a guidance counselor in the Hendry County Schools, a son who graduated from FGCU and "Dunk City", playing basketball, and a daughter, Andrea, who will graduate from the University of Florida April, 2017.

As I move into my next chapter, I so look forward to seeing my former students involved in careers they find pleasing, and satisfying. Working with the wonderful people at Workforce Development will provide great support to accomplish many tasks. Michael Swindle, is truly a blessing to Hendry County, and things will only get better. Many things will get done working together with the Vocational Programs and Colleges in the area, and specifically the Southwest Florida Foundation.

May God Bless you all, and hopefully, many great times coming again! Live, and Enjoy!


  • CompTia - A+, Spring 2002
    Adobe Dreamweaver - Spring 2012
    CIW - Certified Business Associate, Spring 2012
    Certified Systems Information Auditor, Summer 2016
    Certified Information Security Administrator, Summer 2016
    IC3 GS4 and GS 5 Digital Literacy, Spring 2016
    Class B, CDL State Certified Bus Driver
    State of Florida Life Insurance Agency, Insurance Agent, Summer 2016

Florida Department of Education Certifications include:

Bachelor of Arts Degree - Education
Master of Arts Degree- Educational Leadership

  • School Principal (All Levels)

  • Physical Education (K-12)

  • Business Education (7-12)

  • Elementary Education (K-6)


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