Dana Merkel

My name is Ms. Dana and this will be my 11th year in the Children's House Classroom. I am excited for the progress and growth our little school has made. I received my AMS Certificate from St. Catherine's University Advanced Montessori Programs in 2010. I also received my Bachelor's Degree from Bemidji State University in Elementary Education.
A little information about myself. My Husband and I have 5 children ages 16, 10, 9, 3,  and 1. We live outside of Winona in Rollingstone where I enjoy the beauty of nature. We also have 1 cat, 2 dogs, and 9 hens. I enjoy spending time with my family hiking and exploring the beach at Whitewater. I also enjoy gardening and working in my flower garden. My favorite time of year is when I can harvest fresh food from my garden and prepare a delicious dinner right from my back yard.
I have always been interested in children and education. I have volunteered and worked in many different experiences that include, AmeriCorps, ESL, Project FINE, traditional public schools, charter schools, and private schools. I have now been the lead teacher in the Children’s House classroom at Riverway for 9 years. My passion for early childhood education, Montessori, and the Environment is a perfect match with Riverway Learning Community. I love coming to school every day because of my students. Even though they are learning so much during their time in children’s house; I am learning something new each day from them. I have the privilege of experiencing the most important developmental time in my students’ life. I believe it is my job to honor the light within each child by individualizing their education to meet their needs. By doing this I am incorporating enriched hands-on activities that foster the growth of mind, body, and spirit. My objective is to guide the child as they develop and to create self-motivated independent life-long learners.
A few of my favorites:
Children's Books                 The Blue Heron                    Kiwis                     Live Music                       Suncrest Gardens Pizza                      White Chocolate Mochas