Teacher Feature: Mark Schwerdt

Tell us a little about when you were in elementary school.  Where did you go to school? What were your interests and what kind of a student you were?

I went to Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Ridgewood, New Jersey. I am the youngest in my family and I had a brother and 2 sisters that went there before me. Our family albums are filled with pictures of me crying on the front porch on my sibling’s first day of school. I finally got to join them! Ever since then, I’ve loved being in school!

What was your first job as a teenager?

I made coleslaw. Lots of coleslaw. We were living in Orleans on Cape Cod. I would get up at 5:00 am and ride my bike to a restaurant food distributor. Eventually trucks would show up and I would sling bags of slaw to be enjoyed in the finest restaurants. At about 2:00 pm each day, I would join my brother, the life guard, at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet.

We’ve heard that you moved around from Washington, DC to New Hampshire. Where is your favorite place that you have lived and why?

Oh, that’s a tough one! My family loved living in New Mexico. We found that we loved the open spaces, the red rocks and the enormous sky. We came back East though to be closer to family and because we love the ocean.

When did you start singing/playing Irish music?

 I went to a boarding school that had a no technology policy. For example, we were not allowed walkmans (if you remember those) and there was very little recorded music. The idea was that the boys would eventually sing and play instruments. And so, we did.

What were you most excited about when you accepted the position of Head of School at Saint Patrick Academy?

The overall project and its impact on Catholic education in New Hampshire. The Hope for Tomorrow Foundation inspires me and bringing an academically excellent and exceptionally Catholic education to all – really inspires me.

What are you looking forward to the most at the new building? 

Our outdoor amphitheater and the raised beds for gardening.

Finally, we hear that Emily and you are expecting your second child!  Do you know if you are having a boy or a girl? How is your family getting ready?

We have a little girl on the way! I am taking sensitivity training classes, catching up on my unicorn and princess folklore and looking forward to having another child to love! God is good!