“Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun.”
—Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author

Dana Kudell

K–1 Classroom
VDA Teacher since 2012

Tell me a little about your personal and educational background.

I grew up on the East Coast, in northern New Jersey. I attended Penn State University for two years and then transferred to UC Santa Barbara, where I graduated with a degree in Business/Economics. I received my teaching credential from Chapman University in 1990, and have been working in the education field ever since.

When and why did you decide to become a teacher?

I have always enjoyed working with children. I worked as a camp counselor, swim instructor, and coach of many youth sports teams while growing up. I decided that I wanted to be a teacher while still in high school.

What brought you to VanDamme Academy?

A friend and fellow teacher at VanDamme Academy recommended the school to me. She was very happy with the curriculum, the working culture, and the quality of the students. She introduced me to the school when the new first grade position became available.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I really enjoy being outdoors as much as possible. I love going to the beach and I paddle-board whenever time allows. I also run, take my dog on long walks, and love a good book.

Do you have children of your own?

I have three boys in their mid twenties.

What do you like about teaching first grade?

I so enjoy the excitement and enthusiasm that the students bring into my classroom each day!