Inspire. Dream. Achieve.

Age 3 through 8th grade

News, Events + Social Media

  • Alumni
  • Events
Alexander Mackler, Kiersten Jones Schwendeman honored with new Independence alumni awards

Nominees Alexander Mackler (Class of 1997) and Kiersten Jones Schwendeman (Class of 2003) were selected as the first two recipients of Independence’s new alumni awards, created in celebration of the school’s 40th Anniversary and announced April 20 during the annual Founders’ Day assembly.

Mr. Mackler received the Outstanding Alumni Award, which recognizes an Independence alumnus or alumna who has graduated 20 or more years ago and who demonstrates outstanding achievement, leadership or innovation in a particular field, whether in his or her profession or through volunteer activities or personal dedication to a cause.

Currently a federal prosecutor in Wilmington, Mr. Mackler previously lived in Washington D.C., where he served as deputy counsel for former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in the White House. He also spent six months as Mr. Biden’s press secretary in the White House as well as during his time as a senator. Additionally, Mr. Mackler served as deputy chief of staff for U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman and campaign manager of Beau Biden for Attorney General.

Personally impacted by the loss of his father from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Mr. Mackler founded the Scott Mackler Memorial 5K for ALS research.

Mrs. Schwendeman received the Rising Star Alumni Award, which recognizes an Independence alumnus or alumna who has graduated within the last 20 years and who demonstrates outstanding achievement, leadership or innovation in a particular field, whether in his or her profession or through volunteer activities or personal dedication to a cause.

In a short period of time, Mrs. Schwendeman went from an office manager to northern district regional manager at KIDS FIRST Swim Schools. While in college, she developed a passion for mental health advocacy and creating programs for people with eating disorders. In February of this year, that passion led to the founding of the Aster Center, a startup dedicated to establishing the first Delaware-based eating disorder clinic.

Nominations for the 2019 Alumni Awards may be submitted online by clicking here.