Dana Blankenship

Dana Blankenship has spent a total of 31 years in education. This includes 13 years of
experience as a principal, 14 years of experience as a teacher, and four years as a director of
pupil personnel. Throughout her service to Peaks Mill Elementary (PME), Assistant
Superintendent Sharla Six says that Blankenship has “transformed the culture and the climate of
the school.” Blankenship is a believer in building students’ ownership and responsibility over
their learning practices as a strategy to increase academic rigor and success. That is why she has
committed support to train all PME teachers in the Thinking Strategies methodology, a model for
shifting the teacher-student relationship to increase student dialogue and engagement. The
program has seen positive academic results; state assessment scores have risen to 64.0 from 36.3
just three years earlier, while math scores have increased ten points since the last academic year.
Blankenship has also committed to increasing student access to technology, securing funding and
professional development to support teachers in embedding technological learning goals in the
curriculum. Under her leadership, PME has achieved greater parent participation by building
intentional relationships with initiatives that proactively demystify the school experience. One
such initiative, “Classroom Academy for Parents,” offers parents the opportunity to observe
classroom instruction so that they can better understand their child’s educational experience.
Blankenship holds a B.A., two M.A.s in Teaching and Administration, and a Rank 1 certification
from Morehead State University.