PERSPECTIVE FROM A RESIDENT EXPERT

Fortunate to belong to a network of families who are experts in a variety of industries, Mount Vernon students have a valuable learning resource within their reach. Recognizing this essential idea, several years ago the School went beyond the idea of ‘room parent’, ‘athletic coach’, or ‘event chair’ by establishing the Experts in Residence program. Engaged across all divisions, parents provide feedback and expertise in the classroom, serve as iProject pitch panelists, offer industry problems for students to solve, and host internship opportunities.

One extraordinarily experienced parent, Eric Swanson, recently hosted an Upper school student as an intern during Interim Term. Father to Christopher (ELC), William (Class of 2031) and Nicholas (Class of 2029), Eric is the principal of Sagepath, a digital experience company headquartered in Atlanta. Sagepath works with clients such as Coca Cola, Southern Company, and Toms.

Eric shares his perspective as an Atlanta professional, marketing guru, and dad.

MV: DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE AND SAGEPATH’S MISSION.

My role is to drive the strategic direction and new business for Sagepath to deliver a return on investment through innovative marketing initiatives. I started the company with the intent to “do the right thing” for clients. The name Sagepath was derived from the word “pathos”, which translates in our business to building an emotional connection with our clients, beyond just a business relationship.

MV: WHAT ATTRACTED YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO MOUNT VERNON?

Mount Vernon is a close collection of families that fosters a nurturing environment for students. This environment breeds confidence among students, encouraging them, and their families, to build meaningful and lasting relationships with each other.

MV: WHAT STANDS OUT IN TERMS OF “EXPERT IN RESIDENCE” EXPERIENCES FOR YOU?

Sagepath was fortunate enough to sponsor a Mount Vernon student this spring. We asked him to provide his strategic input and recommendations on a program we developed for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. It was truly remarkable how polite, thoughtful, inquisitive and intelligent he was and the depth and breadth of the recommendations he provided. It was certainly a very positive experience, and Sagepath will gladly host other MV students in the future.

“There are numerous outstanding individuals whose willingness to serve has enriched our students’ experiences and helped to propel Mount Vernon to the national forefront in 21st century learning.”
– Former Board President & Trustee Emeritus, Lisa Drake

MV: FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, HOW MIGHT MOUNT VERNON CONTINUE TO PROVIDE MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS TO CONNECT AND APPLY THEIR LEARNING IN THE WORLD?

From my own personal experience during high school, college, and business school, I had limited interaction with companies and real-world experiences. MV’s focus on bringing business challenges into the classroom is vital and a great way to empower students to apply their critical thinking skills to real-life scenarios.

MV: FROM YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE, DESCRIBE WHAT YOU VALUE MOST ABOUT MOUNT VERNON.

As the pace of innovation continues to increase, Mount Vernon’s focus on design thinking is ahead of other schools and more aligned with the way businesses work today and into the future. In an age where America’s edge in the global economy is increasingly dependent on innovation and entrepreneurship, this focus on design thinking is critical to drive the framework for our children’s future

MV: AS MOUNT VERNON REMAINS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING MORE REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS, SHARE HOW YOUR BUSINESS HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THAT EFFORT.

Sagepath’s focus on innovation and cutting-edge solutions for our clients is aligned with the MV approach to learning. Sagepath is able to offer internships and experiences to students, allowing them to see first-hand how innovation works and apply their design thinking skills to real-life business scenarios.

Using strategy to inform the user experience, Sagepath leverages creative connections, technological development, and long-term solutions.

MV: WHAT STANDS OUT IN TERMS OF “EXPERT IN RESIDENCE” EXPERIENCES FOR YOU?

Sagepath was fortunate enough to sponsor a Mount Vernon student this spring. We asked him to provide his strategic input and recommendations on a program we developed for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. It was truly remarkable how polite, thoughtful, inquisitive and intelligent he was and the depth and breadth of the recommendations he provided. It was certainly a very positive experience, and Sagepath will gladly host other MV students in the future.

MV: FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, HOW MIGHT MOUNT VERNON CONTINUE TO PROVIDE MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR STUDENTS TO CONNECT AND APPLY THEIR LEARNING IN THE WORLD?

From my own personal experience during high school, college, and business school, I had limited interaction with companies and real-world experiences. MV’s focus on bringing business challenges into the classroom is vital and a great way to empower students to apply their critical thinking skills to real-life scenarios.

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