Science Just Got a Lot Cooler

It is not common that a high school science teacher has a Kid Cudi sticker, amongst others, plastered across his laptop; but then again, Mr. Matt Swajkowski is far from a common science teacher.

The young and swanky new teacher, more commonly referred to as “Mr. S”,is recognizable through his dapper sense of style and friendly welcome as he stands outside his classroom before classes.

A valuable addition to the teaching staff, Mr. S brings a young vibe to the VHS faculty. Described as laid back, cool, and completely relatable among students, he immediately has stirred up attention amongst the student body.

“I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” stated Mr. S, speaking of his passion and love for teaching. Joining the VHS teaching staff this year, he definitely will keep busy with three chemistry classes and two biology classes on his plate. If you asked him if this is what he imagined his future as when he was younger, the answer would be a firm ‘no’. Rewind a few years and many milestones in the past to see where his “pursuit of happiness” began.

Mr. S grew up in Union, NJ and attended Union High School with a graduating class of around 800 students. Coming to a small school like Verona was a huge adaptation, but he definitely feels comfortable in the transition, stating that the tight-knit community of VHS feels “very homey.”

Attending St. Peters University, Mr.S majored in Biology, his favorite science due to its universal ability to relate to the world and its inhabitants. At this point in his life, he had intended to become a physician’s assistant post college graduation, but after experience in the profession he finally decided the fit was not for him, and he began to pave a new way.

Mr. S returned to St. Peter’s and earned his master’s degree in teaching and special education. His patient nature and love for biology directed him to the world of teaching and education, something that he is passionate and enthusiastic about. Teaching at VHS is his first “real teaching job”; prior to this, he was a TA at a high school specializing in special education, located in his hometown of Union

When not in the classroom, Mr. S enjoys the arts; from music to film much of his free time is spent enjoying arts of other people, as well as creating some of his own. Sitting at his desk with some tunes turned down low, he does not hesitate to say that Kid Cudi is his favorite artist. His support for the rapper is clearly evident based on a “Kudi” sticker on his laptop. Amongst Kid Cudi some of the other top artists he mentions include Radiohead, Local Natives, and The National.

While some science teachers may go home and watch the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet, Mr. S likes to indulge in the AMC series Mad Men, or HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. And if he is ever in the mood to laugh a little, he does not hesitate to turn on Modern Family, “Phil Dunphy is the world’s greatest man,” he exclaimed.

Mr. S catches the attention of people all throughout the school, and his daily outfit representative of old school style definitely does not fall short. Leaning back in his chair with his hands behind his head, Mr.S flashed a grin saying that if he could max out his credit card anywhere it would be at Ralph Lauren Polo or Brooks Brothers.

His creative side is not only evident through his style but also through his hobbies.

A vintage camera passed down from his father sparked an idea for Mr. S which soon became a hobby. Mr.S’s camera has captured urban street art to tree silhouettes and open roads. Some of his photographs can be seen on his tumblr link posted below.