After a nationwide search, Education Through Music (ETM), a NYC-based non-profit dedicated to music education and student achievement, has announced the promotion of one of their own to fill the role of Executive Director.
On Monday, April 1, 2019, Education Through Music’s Chairman Richard Bernstein announced the appointment of Penny Swift as Executive Director. Swift, who has served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer since 2017 and as Interim Executive Director since January, is a lifelong advocate for equity in education, and was chosen for the the role by a unanimous vote from the board.
“After dedicating my personal and professional career to children, families and communities, I am humbled and grateful to be given an opportunity to bring this passion to a new role at Education Through Music,” Swift said. “I feel very fortunate to continue the leadership and vision set out by Katherine Damkohler. While she works to promote ETM nationally, I look forward to working with our incredible staff and supporters to expand our footprint and reach the children who need it most in New York City.”
“After a months-long national search, it became obvious that the right person to lead ETM was always among us,” said Bernstein, who is also the Executive Vice Chairman at Cushman & Wakefield. “As COO, Ms. Swift has been the chief architect in creating a solid foundation for ETM while we grow to help even more children in New York City. I am excited that Ms. Swift will bring her skill set and passion for education to this new role.”
During her nearly two-year tenure as COO at ETM, Swift worked alongside ETM’s founding Executive Director, Katherine Damkohler. Damkohler transitioned to a new role in late 2018 to oversee ETM’s national activities. “ETM’s programming growth over the last few years owes much of its success to Ms. Swift’s strategic leadership and vision,” Damkohler said. “As someone who held this position for nearly 30 years, I am confident that Ms. Swift is the exact person we need at the helm of ETM going forward.”
Swift has dedicated the entirety of her professional career to education. Prior to joining ETM in 2017, Swift served as the Divisional Vice President with Brightside Academy, overseeing all of the organization’s early-childhood academies in New York and Philadelphia. A lifelong New Yorker, Swift is a proud alumna of New York City’s public schools, and the City College of New York, where she graduated cum laude with a master’s degree in special education and a professional diploma in educational administration.
About Education Through Music
Education Through Music is a leading non-profit music education program, focused on implementing music education into the core curriculum of under-resourced schools. Founded in New York City in 1991, ETM forms long-term partnerships with elementary and middle schools to develop sustainable, music programs that enhance students’ performance and general development.
The ETM model currently provides music education to over 49,000 students in New York City and Los Angeles, serving as a catalyst for improvements in achievement, motivation for school, and self-confidence.
ETM’s comprehensive music education network has garnered the support of corporations, public policy makers and foundations, including The Music Man Foundation, CMA Foundation, Steinway & Sons, William Randolph Hearst Foundation and D’Addario Foundation. For more information visit us at ETMonline.org