Dana Bender, Foundations III/Bel Canto/Chamber Singers Choral Arts Teacher and Choral Arts Department Team Leader
Ms. Bender is in her 8th consecutive year teaching full-time at ASA. Fun Fact: she taught part time with Concert Choir between 2003 and 2005, back when the school was quite small. She was part of Phoenix Chorale for many years and is a Grammy winning artist due to her time there. She has taught over 1,200 ASA students at this point in choral arts. She is a proud mother of two ASA students, her son is in 11th grade here and her daughter was part of ASA's original 5th grade class and is now a freshman at Chapman. Like most ASA teachers, her time and love for our students extends far beyond school hours. Last year she saw a need in our community for more comprehensive sexual health awareness and brought a program called OWL, Our Whole Lives, to campus as an opportunity for interested students and families.
Learn a little more about why ASA is so fortunate to have Dana Bender on our team:
What you love about teaching at ASA?
DB: I really enjoy working as a part of a team, both on the choral arts team and the larger faculty as a whole. I love our faculty and believe that they genuinely care about kids in ways that I haven't always seen in other places I've worked. The environment is very open and respect among teachers and students is really evident.
What do you love as a mother of ASA students?
DB: Both of my kids started at ASA in 5th grade. ASA has taught them to advocate for themselves and nurtured their ability to be independent thinkers. Presentations and performances have helped both of my kids grow in confidence.
Talk to us a little bit about your passion to teach OWL and bring it to the ASA community...
DB: My mother was, I believe, ahead of her time in the way that she communicated with me about sexuality. There was never 'the talk' about sex, but ongoing conversation that started when I was very young, including insight about relationships, self-image, and respect for myself and others. It took me a while to realize how unusual this openness was. My mom passed away before my children were born and many times I have wanted to thank her for the gift that she gave me that has helped me in many different situations. Teaching a comprehensive sexuality program is one of my ways of giving back to her. If you are interested in OWL, see attached flier for more info.