February 2020 Staff Spotlight - Ms. Dana Parker
When she is not teaching, Ms. Parker enjoys traveling, gardening, painting, ceramics, and spending time with her loved ones. She has two children, Zoey and Gavin. Zoey is a senior and plans to attend college but is undecided where. Gavin is a sophomore and an avid gamer. Some of her favorite travel destinations are: Frida Kahlo’s Blue House in Mexico; Claude Monet’s mansion and gardens in Giverny, France; Paris, France; Toledo, Spain; New York City; and the Mayan and Aztec pyramids in Mexico. She plans to continue her travels and hopes one day to go to Italy.
Born in Frankfort, Kentucky and raised in the small, rural town of Peaks Mill, Ms. Parker grew up with a deep love and appreciation of nature. She always enjoyed science class in school and would spend hours outside observing Mother Nature, and creating things with the materials it would provide. It wasn’t until she took art history, her freshman year of college that she fell in love with art. With her father and grandmother both being artists, it was only a matter of time before she would see her natural talent come to life.
Ms. Parker earned her Bachelors of Arts in both Studio Arts in 2004 and Art Education in 2005 from Kentucky State University. She continued her education at Georgetown College, earning her Masters of Arts in Art Education in 2011. In 2014, she accepted her first full-time teaching job in Gallatin County, Kentucky. She taught visual arts to grades 4-8 for two years for both the Upper Elementary and Middle School. In 2016, Frankfort Independent Schools had an opening for a visual arts teacher at Second Street School, and Ms. Parker accepted the position.
This has been a dream come true for her. She has always wanted to teach at Second Street School because of the diversity and family atmosphere, it is known for. She intertwines her love of nature and art to create lessons that encourage her students to use recycled and reclaimed object in their artwork. For example, the papier-Mache animals made from plastic jugs and newspaper; and the Louise Nevelson-inspired assemblage sculptures.
This is her fourth year with Frankfort Independent Schools, as the visual arts teacher for grades K-8 at SSS. Ms. Parker is currently a member on the SSS PTSA board, a member of CTEPS 2019-2020 cohort, was a member of CTEPS 2017-2018 cohort, and is currently working on her National Boards for Early and Middle Childhood/Art. She is looking forward to the two artists residencies coming up this spring at Second Street; one will be a ceramic artist, and the other a blacksmith.