Dana K. Kelly

Southwest Elementary School
Lakeland, Florida
Total years as a classroom teacher: 24

“Teach a single child, you may leave a mark, teach a society to value
and educate our children, you strengthen tomorrow!” – Dana K. Kelly

Dana Kelly came from a bustling family of 6 kids. Her mother said in
fourth grade she didn’t play, she wrote lesson plans, scooped up all the
neighbor children and “ran a one-room school” in her backyard.

Dana believes that teaching is the single most influential factor in
the molding of tomorrow for the world at large. It is a teacher’s duty
to capitalize on each child’s innate desire to learn and it is crucial
that an individualized educational plan be tailored for EVERY child,
taking each from where he is, to a new height. Dana also believes that
despite their tremendous potential for greatness, we lose our children
to mediocrity far too often. Education must be a priority.

Her students participate in many service-learning projects throughout
the year. She believes that helping in their community is a
breathtaking vehicle for for her students to achieve academic objectives
while contributing heartily and genuinely to their world. Some of the
projects include inventing and donating “Kids Kits” (game kits) to the
county’s 12 primary hurricane shelters, donating school supplies for
victims of single family fires, and adopting 50 children in a deaf
school where they send monthly care packages from mittens to candies.

Kelly wrote and received five United Way “Youth Promise” grants,
established a school youth council that read and approved 12 mini-grant
applications for teacher projects, and received a $15,000 after school
youth service club grant that has chartered six after school clubs at
three schools in her county.

“She guides, nurtures, and challenges each child, effectively meeting
individual needs. She motivates and excites students with innovative
programs. Her peers respect her opinion and welcome her committee
leadership…” –Richard Dobler, Principal

“She is really nice and not strict. She helps people learn better.
She loves kids. We can be anything we want to be when we grow up.”
–Emily, Ashley, and Amanda, students

Education

1985-86

Gifted Endorsement, Purdue University

1982-84

Master of Science in Special Education K-12, Indiana University

1975-76

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education K-6, University of Maryland

1975-76

Bachelor of Science in Special Education K-12, University of Maryland

1973-74

Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Montgomery College

Teaching Experience

1999- present

K-5 Gifted Resource, Southwest Elementary, Lakeland, FL

1995-99

K-5 Gifted Resource, Rochelle School of the Arts, Lakeland, FL

1994-95

K-8 Gifted Resource, Rochelle School of the Arts, Lakeland, FL

1992-94

K-8 Specific Learning Disabilities Resource, Rochelle School of the Arts, Lakeland, FL

1992

Fifth Grade, Rochelle School of the Arts, Lakeland, FL

1990-92

K-5 Gifted Resource Team, Southwest Elementary, Lakeland, FL

1988-90

K-12 Gifted Coordinator, Eastern Pulaski Schools, Winamac, IN

1986-90

K-8 Gifted Resource, Eastern Pulaski Schools, Winamac, IN

1980-86

K-5 Specific Learning Disabilities Resource, Eastern Pulaski Schools, Winamac, IN

1979-80

K-6 Specific Learning Disabilities Resource, Cannon Road Elementary, MD

1977-79

3-6 Specific Learning Disabilities Resource, Cannon Road Elementary, MD

1976-77
Assistant, Multi-categorical K-6 Resource, Fields Road Elementary, MD
1973-76
Assistant, Language delayed 3-6 year olds, Easter Seal Treatment Center, MD

Special Recognition

2005
Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Award – The Turnaround Management Association
2005

USA TODAY’s All-USA Teacher Team

2003

Volunteer of the Year, Sister Cities International

2002

Disney Teacherrific Award, $18,000

2002

Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, Montgomery College

2002

Time Magazine, Chevy Malibu Teaching Excellence Award

2001

Featured, Schools in the News Ledger series, Immigrant tutoring program

2001

Teaching Excellence Award, Top 5 state finalist, Florida Education Association

2001

Exemplary Program, only Florida gifted program recognized in NAGC publication

2001

Disney Dreamers & Doers Award

2001

Invited Keynote Speaker, FLAG New Gifted Teacher conference, Jacksonville, FL

2001

Polk County District Teacher of the Year

2001

Master Teacher Business Partnership Summer Intern

2000-01

Southwest Elementary Teacher of the Year

2000-01

Florida Gifted Teacher of the Year, Florida Association of the Gifted

2000-01

Polk County Gifted Teacher of the Year, Florida Association of the Gifted

2001

Writer, four student awards (received) including college scholarship

2000

Disney Community Service Award, “Service Learning”

2000

Disney Teacherrific Award, $5,750

2000

Volunteer of the Year, American Red Cross, Polk Chapter

2000

Scorer, Disney American Teacher Awards, Orlando

1999

National Board Certification, National Board/Professional Teaching Standards

1999

Featured, “What’s Right With Our Schools”, (service-learning) FOX 13 TV

1999

Selected to represent international education in schools to Secretary of State

1998-99

Writer, feature series, bimonthly, bilingual Japanese news magazine, Japan

1998

Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers

1998

Featured, “What’s Right With Our Schools”, (exchange program), FOX 13 TV

1997

International study (3 weeks, Japan, volunteerism study in 18 education institutions)

1997

Commendation by Sister Cities International

1996

Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers

1995

Selected to host, tour national Japan DOE delegation, per our national DOE

1992

National Writing Award, Jostens Learning Coporation

1991

Florida State Elementary Chess Champs (coach 11 years, 2 states)

1988

Civic Leader in Education award & KC-135 VIP Flight, Grissom Air Force Base

1985

Teacher-in-Space regional semi-finalist, Indiana

1984

Top Graduate Student in Special Education, Indiana University

1975

Honorarium, Outstanding Service with Learning Disabled Children

1976 & 1974

Saving a child’s life citation (twice), Easter Seals & Association of Learning Disabilities