Swan School builds strong learners in an environment of academic excellence aligned with creativity and personal expression. We develop wise and compassionate leaders as an investment in everyone’s future.
Dana’s formal education reflects her diverse interests and passions. She completed her BA in Art at Pacific University in 1997, and obtained an interdisciplinary master’s degree, focusing on Spiritual Traditions and Ethics, from Marylhurst University in 2005. Dana is fascinated by the way in which artists from various cultures represent spiritual experience.
Dana moved to Port Townsend with her husband, Brian, in August of 2010 and began working with students at Swan School that same year. Prior to teaching at Swan, Dana spent nine years in Portland, Oregon, working as a nanny, preschool teacher, and art instructor. She taught a wide variety of art classes and camps for preschool and K-6 students at the Multnomah Art Center. She also taught preschool at The Marylhurst School, a highly regarded early childhood center that emphasizes experiential learning, artistic self-expression, and emotional intelligence.
When she is not teaching or creating art, Dana loves to explore the Pacific Northwest, in both urban and wild environments. Dana and Brian can often be found hiking around the peninsula, or making a pilgrimage to the Seattle Art Museum.
Swan School is very lucky to have Dana with us to teach both preschool and art, she is amazingly proficient at both. One of her art students recently stated, “I love Dana, she is nice, great at art, and she is a great friend too!” And we are certain that her preschool students agree.
Loida fills two roles at Swan School. She is both a Discoverers’ Pre-school Teacher and our Spanish Teacher. Loida received her bachelors of science from the State University of New York in Bilingual/Bicultural Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She taught for the Agency of Child Development of the City of New York for eight years. During those years she was head teacher for preschool and kindergarten children where she developed a bilingual curriculum. She then went on to teach in the New York City public school system for the next five years. While there, she taught English as a second language to newly arrived students from South and Central America. She is also experienced teaching third, fourth and sixth grade. Loida moved to Montana in the early 90’s where she opened her own preschool and provided additional services to the community by introducing John Bradshaw’s “Homecoming” series and giving a 10-week workshop on “Alternative Methods of Parenting”. Loida also took a journey across the U.S. on horseback (from New York City, to Fort Laramie, WY) with her husband and four horses. They studied and followed the “Oregon Trail”. The adventure lasted three years.
Loida is loved by students from age 3 through 12, and she loves them right back. She truly enjoys the unique opportunity she has, getting to work with all of the students from preschool through graduation, “…and I love to watch each of these amazing kids grow into amazing people.” Recently one of our oldest students reflected on her own connection with Loida stating, “She’s understanding and I can talk to her about almost anything, and she’s funny.”
Loida has been at Swan School since September 2003.