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A Word from our Transitional Executive Director

Greetings,

Vivan SwobodaMy name is Vivian (Viv) Swoboda and I am honored to be serving as the Transitional Executive Director for the Federation for Children with Special Needs. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the critically important work that is being done by the dedicated, hard-working Federation staff who inspire me each and every day by their commitment to the people, families, schools and communities they serve.

When I began my career in Massachusetts, I taught students with special needs in Cambridge Public Schools. Next, I transitioned to teaching in inclusive elementary school classrooms. After sixteen years of teaching, I served as a principal in Newton Public Schools, a system that has a strong history of neighborhood inclusion for students with disabilities.

After receiving my doctorate from Boston College, I began working as a principal in Boston Public Schools. I led schools in Dorchester and Roxbury before I retired and was able to spend more time with my family, including my twin grandsons who were toddlers at that time.
Since I arrived at the Federation in late June, I have enjoyed stimulating, individual conversations with almost all of the staff. In addition to describing their positions, they have shared ideas for what would help them to better do their jobs and help the Federation to be a more collaborative organization. They have shared suggestions for planning for the Federation’s future and have told me things they thought I should know. Their helpful feedback has helped smooth my transition and improve the effectiveness of my work.

A team has been assembled who will search for the next Executive Director. I will continue in my capacity as Transitional Executive Director during this process. I have been collaborating with Rich Robison who has assumed the role of Executive Director Emeritus. It is a privilege to help build upon the Federation’s strong foundation of more than forty years of exemplary work on behalf of people with disabilities.

I want to thank everyone who has worked to make the Federation the vital organization it is today. I feel fortunate to collaborate with such an expansive network of people united in the work of informing, educating and empowering families. May we inspire the world to join us in our mission!

All the best,
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Viv Swoboda