Danielle Cunningham, M.A.
District Behavior Success Initiative - Fine Arts - Lead │ HS Visual Arts Teacher
My name is Danielle Cunningham, and I have taught visual arts at the elementary, jr. high, and high school levels. I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Visual Art Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'Em Horns!! I also received a Master of Arts Degree in Art Education from The University of Florida.
I am originally from Iowa, but moved to Texas for college. My husband, Brian is a mechanical engineer and we have two sons. Parker and Max. We have a lot of fun figuring out life together and surviving the craziness of being parents.
I love to read and play video games; my husband and I are vicious Mario Kart rivals. I am also a HUGE Magic: The Gathering fan, and a Tinkerer in Gloomhaven.
"Every child is an artist. The problem is remaining an artist once you grow up."
A passion for Art Education
In my roles as both a visual arts teacher and a curriculum lead, I have found that I have a passion for creating useful meaningful curriculum to support teachers and engage students. I have worked closely with colleagues in order to design lessons that scaffold appropriately, meet state standards and the needs of visual art teachers. I've created new curriculum and professional development standards for the teachers I serve in order to increase enrollment and stay current in art education. Supporting the voice of the teacher in addition to district goals is critical for the success of both. I feel that balancing the needs of teachers along with campus and district goals are at the root of my job as a teacher-leader. The intersection of these two things, along with building healthy relationships with students, best classroom and instructional practices, and student-centered curriculum, are where we see true success in our fine arts programs.
Teachers cannot achieve success without colleague and interdisciplinary collaboration, which is something I like to (re)focus on with teachers I support. Sharing knowledge and expertise, through collaboration with teams outside of my content area, are natural ways to add relevance to innovative curriculum.
I believe in a closed loop feedback leadership style. I am a servant leader, in my teacher-leader role in order to support and advocate for the teachers I serve. I learn and grow by helping them learn and grow. I feel it critical to form strong trust relationships and the development of high-quality work, for teachers to feel they are heard and have a part in the conversation. Curriculum design is a collaborative effort, and great ideas happen organically in a trustworthy setting.