Michael Swindle was our first guest in the first season of Talent Talk. He discusses his vision as the current Superintendent of Hendry County Schools with a workforce-oriented approach. Mike started his position during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which presented several unique challenges going forward. He shares the focus of closing the achievement gaps, building capacity, and creating sustainable efforts for educational attainment within Hendry County. This includes increasing third grade reading proficiency and working to increase graduation rates. It’s somewhat of a challenge working within a rural community with limited resources. He also shares progress from workforce initiatives to increase credentialed workers between the cities of LaBelle and Clewiston. Michael was previously a County Commissioner and Workforce Development Director for Hendry County Schools. This work involved initiating training programs to tackle the unemployment rates across the county. Looking ahead, he is shifting focus towards equity initiatives as a driving force to improving the education system.