Elizabeth "Beth" Swift
On May 23, 1949, Elizabeth Alice Hicks was born to Jim and Mary Hicks of Buena Park, California—both Jim and Mary had served during World War II as sergeants in the Army. "Beth," as she was always nicknamed by her family, was the third of five children, and she grew up with her two brothers and two sisters in Buena Park, where she has remained her entire life--to raise her own family and volunteer in the community.
Beth attended Grand Avenue School, Gilbert Elementary, Buena Park Junior High---which was previously named Calder Intermediate--then Buena Park High School (BPHS). Beth entered high school as a shy, young, intelligent lady, but as she became more and more involved in sports (softball, basketball, and volleyball), clubs, and other activities, she became less shy. She and her close high school friends attended every high school football game BPHS had during their four years there.
Beth's first job was at Buena Park's J.C. Penney store one Christmas season, then she later worked two summers during college at Knott’s Berry Farm in the Bottle House and Indian Village.
After high school graduation, Beth attended Biola University for two years. She transferred to Cal State Long Beach, from which she graduated in 1971 with a major in Home Economics and minor in History. She earned her teaching credential the following year also at CSULB.
In July 1970, Beth married Greg Swift, a young man who grew up attending the Buena Park First Baptist Church as did she. After receiving her BA and teaching credential, she taught for one year and then gave birth to their first daughter, Maggie, in 1974. Over the next eight years, she and Greg added 3 more daughters---Erin, Katie and Anna. Beth was a stay-at-home mother for 13 years and later became a substitute teacher at BPHS. She was hired there as a part-time Home Economics teacher in 1989, and she stayed in the Fullerton High School District for 21 years --15 of those years at BPHS. She taught fifteen different subjects as well as taking on a variety of roles: Dean of Attendance, ASB advisor, Special Projects Coordinator, and Advanced Academics Academy/Honors Coordinator. She also spent one year as an assistant principal in the Anaheim Union High School District. During the 2004-2005 school year at Buena Park High School, Beth began developing the Advanced Academics Academy (AAA), an elite program for high achievers who took the most rigorous courses offered. She remained the program's coordinator until her retirement in 2010.
In 2001, Beth graduated from Azusa Pacific University with her Master’s Degree in school administration, and in 2005, she became "Dr.Swift" when she earned her Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from USC.
Years earlier while staying home to raise her daughters, Beth was elected to the Governing Board of the Buena Park School District and spent 31 years serving her community in that way. She has been recognized for her service by the following awards: the "Marion Bergeson--Outstanding School Board Member of the Year" award in 2008 from Orange County School Boards Association; Citizen of the Year 2006 from Buena Park Rotary Club; Buena Park High School Teacher of the Year and Fullerton High School District Teacher of the Year in 2008; Buena Park Woman of the Year by Assemblymember Tony Mendoza of the 56th District in 2012; Donna Bagley--Women in Leadership Award from the Buena Park Women's Club in 2013; and this year 2014, she was awarded a Woman of Distinction recognition by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva of the 65th District.
Beth’s hobbies include sewing, quilting, traveling, interior decorating, and most importantly, spending time with her family. As of now, she and Greg have twelve grandchildren---seven boys and five girls. She also knows how to cook the most delicious types of foods, especially desserts! She loves classical music and football. However, she also learned how to play golf! Dr Swift used to take golf lessons and play golf with her husband every week. She was a cheerleader in high school and college. Her favorite colors are red, white and blue---yes, Beth is that patriotic!
In 2010, Beth was elected as Councilmember for the City of Buena Park. While in office, she proposed a list of Core Values to be exemplified by City Staff and Commissions, proposed the establishment of the current “Education Committee” to improve communication and cooperation between the city and its seven school districts, organized “Buena Park Goes to College!,” advanced fiscal responsibility and much more. This November 2014, she is running for re-election for Buena Park City Council. So come and show your support for Beth’s campaign!
Check out Beth's interview on the "Hour of Power" on April 21, 2013 in this video. Forward to 10:30/58:30.