Wylie Schwieder , Henrico High School
Math Teacher
Henrico High School

“I want to help kids learn to love math as much as I do,” he says.

Virginia’s Community Colleges' career switcher program, called EducateVA, helped Schwieder transition into the classroom. “It’s easy and it makes sense,” he says. “It’s like dominoes falling into place.

Like much of the country, Virginia suffers from a shortage of math, science and foreign language teachers. The EducateVA program operates statewide to funnel those who already hold bachelor’s degrees into jobs as teachers in those and other critical subjects. The program helps participants network with peers and learn key classroom skills in a rigorous academic program. It also helps participants find jobs.

Schwieder entered the career switcher program in January 2008, doing his coursework mostly online from his home and attending a few classes in person. He eventually landed a full-time job at Henrico High School in Richmond, Va., teaching algebra and precalculus.

Though the pay isn’t close to what he used to make in his corporate career, Schwieder says that money isn’t his primary focus in his encore career. He says he loves the challenge and the fact that he is giving teens knowledge they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Visit the EducateVA website