After completing an undergraduate program in History, at VA Tech, by the age of nineteen, Dayna decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a teacher. She was one of a small number of candidates chosen to participate in the Master’s in Education program at the University of Pittsburgh. Upon completion of the program, Dayna accepted her first teaching position in a large suburban high school in Pittsburgh. After two years of teaching Civics, Global Studies, and American Studies, Dayna moved with her husband to Harrisburg, PA. She spent the next twelve years teaching AP Government, Law, and American History, and coaching the academic competition league and mock trial team. She also designed several curriculums for multiple courses.
During her tenure, Dayna worked closely with the Classrooms for the Future Initiative funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This program was designed to integrate technology into the classroom while promoting inquiry-based, project-based, and authentic-based learning models. She was a feature program teacher and frequent keynote speaker for events around the state. It was during her involvement in this program that she was also showcased as a model teacher for Edutopia and the National Institute for Professional Practice. While simultaneously teaching and working with Classrooms for the Future, Dayna finished her second master’s degree in 21st Century Teaching and Learning from Wilkes University. She also obtained her National Board Certification and was the sixth social studies teacher in Pennsylvania to do so. She also earned awards from Shippensburg University as a Teacher of the Year and guest lecturer and from the First Lady of Pennsylvania, as the Civics Teacher of the Year.
While teaching full-time and serving as a department chair and the Academy Coordinator for the Health and Human Services Academy in her school, Dayna became a member of the National Faculty for the Buck Institute for Education. During this time, she successfully renewed her National Board Certification. Following three years of juggling multiple work and home responsibilities, Dayna left the classroom after fourteen years to consult part-time.
During her consulting career, Dayna has presented to teachers and administrators from nearly every state, from all content areas, and from all grade levels. Districts and schools have spanned the economic and geographic divide from inner city and rural, Title I schools to private tuition schools. She has worked with international teachers from Israel, Pakistan, UAE, Australia, Thailand, and India, both in an online setting and in face-to-face training sessions. She has helped to develop and manage the PBLU online PBL certification program for BIE. Dayna has been a regular conference presenter at ISTE, ASCD, TCEA, PETE & C, and PBL World. She has also developed curriculums for Pearson’s Online Learning Exchange.
Dayna continues to lead workshops on PBL, authentic learning experiences, inquiry learning, critical thinking, Advanced Placement, technology integration, 1:1 programs, and STEAM. She trains nationally, internationally, and through online support. While at home, she also spends time focusing on a writing career. She has been published in multiple leading global and national journals. Most recently, she published Authentic Learning Experiences: A Real-World Approach to Project Based Learning.