Last week the ACE family lost and amazing mentor, advocate and friend, with the untimely departure of William ‘Bill’ Swanson. Bill was a Project Executive at Turner Construction and MY Co-Team Leader at Cheltenham High School in Montgomery County PA. Last year, Bill answered the call and selflessly began to devote his time, energy, network and professional connections to help me develop an ACE team (from scratch) in a new area high school. After our first initial planning meeting, I knew that his quick wit, creativity and priceless smile would no doubt delight and engage the new students that we would serve.
Bill was impassioned by seeking out creative ways to communicate complex concepts and TEACH in a manner that made you UNDERSTAND. It was actually HIS brainchild to pull up a truck in the parking lot and build a brick cavity wall – after the students had a difficult time understanding the wall sections in the construction documents.
People come into your life, if only but a brief moment to teach you a lesson or guide you to the next steps of your journey. I can’t say that I knew Bill long, but I knew that he was a man of his word and he helped me develop an amazing experience that the students of Cheltenham will always keep with them.
Bill didn’t have to answer my emails or phone calls… Let’s face it – anything that I had to say or ask of him was in addition to his responsibilities at his job or home. He didn’t have to give us his time or energy – and as we see now, both were extremely precious to him and his family. He didn’t have to become a mentor for the ACE Mentor Program of Eastern PA – but he did… Despite whatever he may have been going through in his personal life, he made a space for us in his heart and for that I will forever be grateful.
Bill – Thank you for everything you gave to us. Your spirit IS truly amazing.