Madison West teacher helps students with special needs find meaningful jobs

Fred Swanson

For Fred Swanson, a Madison West High School transition teacher for students with special needs, helping students graduate from high school is important but it isn’t the end of the road. Swanson goes that extra mile to help them find meaningful employment and transition into the community.

Working with Goodwill Industries, Swanson – a member of Madison Teachers Inc. and WEAC – helps place and support young adults in permanent part-time jobs.

His work is featured in an article on, the website for WISC-TV, Channel 3, in Madison.

“We had kids in like (a) clerical law firm, in warehouses, in production, in the service industry, in banking, in landscaping and gardening. Indoors, outdoors, nights, weekends. We’ve been virtually everywhere,” Swanson says.

“We can just make a difference for every single individual because there’s not anybody with a disability that does not have the capacity to work in the community in a meaningful way.”

Teacher helps students with special needs find permanent part-time jobs

MADISON, Wis. – Remember when you landed your first job? The excitement? For those with special needs, it’s as exciting – maybe even more so. But it’s not always easy – they need a little help. Meet Fred Swanson of West High School in Madison.