Laurie Swistak received a B.S. in education magna cum laude in 1989 after 20 years as a stay-at-home mom. In 1991, she left her first teaching position at a small Catholic school to begin working at Cranston-Calvert School in Newport, Rhode Island. In addition to teaching general fifth-grade social studies and math, she teaches language arts to gifted and talented students who come to Cranston-Calvert from schools throughout the district.
Laurie's special interest is her language arts students' multigenre research project, undertaken with Salve Regina University students as mentors. Each year, this project begins in January and culminates in May with oral presentations at the university. Laurie and her collaborator, Salve education professor Camille Allen, are working on a book on the multigenre approach. Laurie also presented on multigenre at the 2000 and 2002 NTCE conferences. In addition, she is active in her local teachers' association and serves on the curriculum and literacy committees. She also serves on the Cranston-Calvert School Improvement Team and attends the Rhode Island Institute for Learning.