“Every day is different when you teach,” says Dana Radanovic. Mrs. Radanovic, who has been a faculty member at The Hun School for thirty-seven years, has thousands of days under her belt, but it’s not the variety that keeps her engaged; it’s the student-teacher relationship.
“Math is important and when you watch a student getting it…there’s just nothing like it,” she says.
Dana Radanovic began her Hun career in the Middle School, teaching pre-algebra and algebra. “One of the neat things about Hun is that I was often able to teach the same student in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. You really get to know them,” she says.
Mrs. Radanovic got to know her students outside of the classroom as well, serving as a field hockey and boys’ basketball coach in the Middle School and coaching both Middle School and boys’ varsity tennis—simultaneously. Never one to shy away from a task, she also headed the kickball club and stepped up to the plate as the pitcher. “I feared for my life,” she jokes.
She credits Hun’s supportive community for a rich and rewarding career. “You get to do so many things here and the administration believes in us.” From launching ski trips and Middle School Spirit Days to creating X Day, an annual celebration of experiential learning, she spent twenty-two years making an impact in the Middle School. She even served as Middle School head for one year following former Head of School Roberta King’s departure.
Eventually, Mrs. Radanovic “graduated” to the Upper School, where she has taught ninth and tenth grade algebra and geometry ever since. When Ryan Hews invited faculty to create their “dream” course, she initially devised a “math in the real world” class, then pivoted at the last minute to create Entrepreneurial Studies, now one of the School’s most popular courses. “Seeing those students run their businesses was so cool,” she says. That class is a highlight for Mrs. Radanovic, as it was team-taught with colleague, and former students, Patrick Quirk ’02. Another former student, Jennifer Pontani Stone ’93, will be taking over her classes when she retires this June.
The camaraderie at Hun is something she will miss. “The people I teach with…I treasure those friendships and still get Christmas cards from people who used to work here.” She will also miss the students. “The family atmosphere—the community that we all talk about here—it’s real.”
Come September, she won’t be stepping inside a classroom, but don’t be surprised if you catch her in the Dining Hall. “My colleagues said I can come back to the lunch table any time I want,” she says. Her busy schedule may preclude that, though. An avid golfer, she will be joining a ladies’ league that meets twice weekly, and is planning to join a bowling league. She also plans to tutor in her free time.
Mrs. Radanovic has always been hungry for a challenge, but this fall, she’ll be satisfying a different kind of craving —with a road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The hot air balloon festival may be the draw, but for Mrs. Radanovic and her husband, this road trip will be more about the journey than the destination. “We are huge fans of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and we’re going to pick the route so we can make stops at places featured on the show.”
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