Phildra Swagger, PhD.
Phildra Swagger, PhD, is AMIkids' Vice President, previously serving as the National Director of Educational Services since 2013. She is a passionate educator with a dedicated focus on helping urban and at-risk youth.
Dr. Swagger received her Bachelor's Degree in 1990 from North Carolina A&T State University in 1990 and M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her teaching career began in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC) Public School System, where she was selected as the 1992 Metro School Teacher of the Year. In 1995, she relocated to Tampa, Florida to pursue her doctoral studies. While at the University of South Florida, Phildra taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the College of Education and received the 1998 Provost's Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student. Her Ph.D. was conferred by the University of South Florida in December 2000.
Her dissertation, Culture in the Classroom: An Exploratory Analysis of Teachers' Attitudes, Expectations, and Instructional Practices Toward Culturally Diverse Students was nominated for the University of South Florida's Outstanding Dissertation Award. Her primary research interests include culturally responsive practices, closing the achievement gap, and the impact of socially constructed attitudes on student progression. Her passion stems from growing up as the eldest daughter of a single parent in urban Charlotte, NC. These issues are discussed in Dr. Swagger's first co-authored book, We Can Have Better Urban Schools (2000).
Her recent efforts include authoring competitive grants to address closing the achievement gap, which have totaled nearly $5 million in federal and state funds. Prior to joining AMIkids, Inc. Dr. Swagger served as the Supervisor of Academic Programs for the Hillsborough County Public Schools, as the founding Executive Director/Principal and Board Member of Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School, and independent consultant to various schools districts throughout Florida. Since joining AMIkids, Inc. Dr. Swagger lead the corporation's effort to earn AdvancED accreditation, established our first program for immigrant learners, and is currently expanding our portfolio of schools to include both single gender and charter schools.
Dr. Swagger enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her husband and their two children.