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SWENSON, Jon R. 1936-2011


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 2/22/2023 at 15:14:52

Jon R. Swenson
(January 5, 1936 - December 23, 2011)

Northwood Anchor, Northwood, Iowa, Wed., Dec 28, 2011, p.11
Jon R. Swenson, 75, lifelong educator and former Stillwater High School principal, passed away Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. He left a legacy of excellence and dedication to quality education.
Jon was born Jan. 5, 1936 in Lake Mills, to Josephine and T. Melvin Swenson. He was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills. Jon was a 1954 graduate of Lake Mills High School and 1958 Iowa State Teachers College (now Univ. of Northern Iowa). He received a master's degree from Northern Colorado University and a doctorate of education from the University of Sarasota, Florida. Post doctorate work was completed with the University of Minnesota-Humphrey Institute, Boston, George Mason and Notre Dame universities. He participated m three Endowment for the Humanities programs at Dartmouth, Harvard and the Catholic University of America. His teaching/school administration experiences included high schools in Northwood and Dubuque, DOD American schools, in Germany, and the Philippines, and 20 years as the principal of Stillwater High School. During his tenure at Stillwater High School, Jon focused on student academics and activities: a number of student-centered events were developed, including the post-prom senior class party, Kabekonian yearbook signing night, monthly student recognition breakfasts, battle of the bands competitions, service awards and the senior class memory slide show presentation at the Cap and Gown Ceremony. Joining the SHS sports success, banners celebrating the band, orchestra, choir, debate and theatre were created and hoisted in prominent places m the school Focusing on academics, he created the academic lettering program, developed the academic excellence plaque awards and medallion and honors dinner for students and parents. Under his leadership, SHS was awarded the National Exemplary School Award in 1985. Additionally, he was instrumental in promoting the presentation of a number of local scholarships including the George Regis Award, Dennis Brown, J Bruce Bauer, Elk's Lodge. The most prominent of these is the Berggren Scholarship program, which provides for annual scholarships for the Univ. of Minn. Recognizing the continued excellence of graduates, he conceived the idea for the Distinguished Alumni Award which was first presented in 1985 and has now been presented to numerous alums. His intention was to celebrate the accomplishments of Stillwater graduates and to provide a venue for Stillwater students to recognize and emulate those who had achieved success in their chosen fields. During his time as principal, he oversaw increasing student growth and he lead the SHS faculty and students through the two-year experimental four-day plan, sophomore migration to the Hillside campus in North St. Paul, and the subsequent continued senior campus split with the 10th grade at the Washington School, and the juniors and seniors at the Marsh Street Campus. In the fall of 1993, a new high school campus was opened in Oak Park Heights. He retired in 1995 after 20 years as the school principal. His many years of service were capped by his receiving four prestigious awards: Principal of the Year (1989) from the Minnesota High School Press Association, Minnesota Alliance for the Arts School Administrator award (1991), the Twin Cities Suburban Conference Fine Arts Leadership award (1995) and District 834/ School Business Partnership award for significant contributions in the leadership of building the SAHS campus (1994).
Following his retirement from SHS, he spent the next 10 years volunteering with the Amicus program and served as a crisis counselor for the Minneapolis-based Council on Crime and Justice. He also participated as an observer and commentator for the Hennepin County WATCH organization. Jon was an active member of Elk's Lodge #179 and known for his annual memorial address. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Julene; daughter, Sara (Claude Sigmund); and grandson, Atticus. He is predeceased by his parents; brothers: Tom, K. Robert, and Keith; and sister, Karen. A memorial service celebrating Jon's life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 30, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1616 West Olive Street, Stillwater, Minn. Visitation will be held Thursday, Dec. 29, from 4-7 p.m. at Simonet Funeral Home, 6429 Osgood Avenue North, Stillwater, Minn., and one hour prior to the service at church. Private family interment. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the family.


Worth Obituaries maintained by Karon S. Velau.
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