Even as a student at Benedictine College, Emily Dana, 30, knew that she wanted to teach.
In 2014, she graduated with a double major in elementary and special education and a minor in dance and theology and was awarded the “Student Teacher of the Year” for the state of Kansas as a senior. Her first year of teaching was at David Brewer Elementary School in Leavenworth, Kan.
The following year, a move to Rogers brought her closer to home where she began a four-year stint of teaching first grade at St. Vincent de Paul School. In that time, she also married fellow Benedictine graduate Tom Dana. She later moved with her husband to San Francisco, where she taught second grade and coached cheer at St. Veronica School. When he began at Georgetown Law School in 2020, she moved back to Rogers and began teaching first grade again at SVdP. Her career has included coaching cheer, teaching STEM camps in Kansas and at SVdP and being a featured speaker for a women’s retreat at the University of Arkansas.
This past year, she and fellow teacher, Alex Baldwin, created an Instagram account @gratefulingradeschool, where they offer teacher products and resources to sell with the purpose “to collaborate and inspire educators and influence a younger generation of teachers,” Dana said.
“I have spent my time investing in Catholic education because I believe in strong family values and the mission of Catholic schools to develop the whole person in educating the child. I want to instill a love for learning in my students but also teach them to celebrate belonging to our Catholic faith,” she said.
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