Degrees and Certifications:
Degree: Bachelors of Science in Business Administration Certifications: Generalist EC-6 Generalist 4-8 Special Education EC-12 English as a Second Language EC-12
Mrs. Dani O'Neill
My name is Dani O’Neill. Fredericksburg has been my home with my husband, who also is named Danny, for the last 11 years. We have two (furry babies) dogs that are spoiled rotten. We LOVE the outdoors, especially hiking and camping. Recently we have become more involved with the Friends of Enchanted Rock, trying to help preserve this natural area and help with creating programs that teach kids about nature and encourage them to get outside.
I grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I earned a full scholarship to the University of Tulsa in golf. My degree from the University of Tulsa was a bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing, but after I graduated I went into the golf industry as a golf pro and merchandiser. I definitely did not take the direct route to teaching. Knowing me, one would say that my route was a lot like the way I think, "outside of the box". Hindsight shows that teaching should have been identified as an obvious interest because I have been doing it in different ways for years. School was not where my teaching took place, but in golf, which was the center of my universe for the first 21 years of life. I taught younger kids in golf camps in high school. In college, I taught short game to teammates because it was my strength and where I could contribute to my team. After college, I taught golf to kids and adults. As you can see by where I am today, the kids won my heart. I realized I wanted to work with children in more areas than just golf. There is something to be said for being a part of the excitement a child has when they learn something new or achieve something that seemed unachievable. I took a risk, quit my job, and started getting alternatively certified through Texas Teachers in hope that my determination and hard work would pay off. At this point, I studied, did observations, and looked for any openings to get into a classroom. Through what I now believe as fate, a position for a special education assistant opened up at the Kindergarten level at FPS. I had helped with Special Olympics in college and enjoyed it, so I applied. The classroom was one with a special education teacher and a regular education teacher with all levels of special education students and some general education students. I fell in love with it immediately and looked for all opportunities to learn. There were many amazing teachers who opened their doors to mentoring me and answering my thousands of questions. In addition, I researched teaching by reading books, locating internet resources and free professional development, begging my principal to send me to any and all professional development through the region, and did in-home training with special education students and their families. After two years as an instructional assistant, I got an opportunity to teach the self-contained special education classroom in Kindergarten. It was challenging and yet so amazing! I have been working in Special Education ever since and love every day that I get to come to work.