Dawn Zalkus is an educator and artist teaching at Batavia High School in Batavia, IL. 

She loves working with students to build a strong artistic community where young artists feel safe, support one another, and share ideas. The core of this community fosters the idea of lifelong learning and growth while discovering the greatness of which everyone is capable. Working in partnership with her students Zalkus helps to strengthen their artistic voice and development, keeping critical thinking, questioning, originality, choice, and technique building at the forefront. At Batavia, Zalkus has helped to establish a National Art Honor Society Chapter, P.L.A.T.E. event, BHS Rock the Runway Wearable Art Fashion Show, BHS I Heart Art Invitational Art Show, The Batavia Fine Arts Festival, Empty Bowls Event, Studio Batavia’s Visual Arts Booster, community partnerships, and has fostered Batavia’s participation in many local and national art shows. 

Zalkus grew up in Palos Hills attending Stagg High School. At Stagg, she fell in love with clay under the instruction of Deeks Carroll and with his support and encouragement decided to become a high school art instructor. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Art Education both in 2003 with a BFA, and then again in 2006 with an MA, Zalkus taught in Hickory Hills and Carpentersville before finally landing at Batavia High School. At Batavia, Zalkus teaches Art Fundamentals, 3D Art, and AP Studio Art. She has continued her education through courses online from the Art of Education as well as AP training at the School of the Art Institute Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. 

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