Cobblers Up Close: Mr. Hicks

In addition to teaching world history, Dana Hicks has written two novels that have been published.

By Meaghan Keohane

If you haven’t met Dana Hicks, the new world history teacher, you’re missing out.  Mr. Hicks is a Rapid City native with not only a passion for teaching historical stories, but a passion for telling his own creative stories as well.

Hicks didn’t always know he wanted to be a teacher. Throughout high school he assumed he would become an engineer. But just before he started at the School of Mines and Technology he said to himself, “I kind of want to teach.” From that moment on he pursued a career in teaching history. After his first year at School of Mines and Technology, he transferred to Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University just outside of St Cloud, Minnesota, where he earned his bachelor of arts. He continued his education in graduate school at Auburn University for two years and then transferred to Black Hills State University to finish up his master’s degree in secondary education.

He pursued writing after he thought, “This story has been running in the back of my head, why don’t I write it down?”

Now fresh out of school with his first teaching job, he is excited to be teaching his “favorite field of study,” world history.  Although he enjoys the opportunity “to keep learning and teaching history,” his “single greatest drive” is being able to tell stories every day at work. Not only does he like learning new things, he is also fond of helping students learn. “I enjoy seeing the students take on challenging tasks and succeed,” Hicks explained.

Outside of the classroom, Hicks takes part in activities including hiking, fishing, watching television, playing video games, and writing. His writing career is one of his most significant characteristics. He pursued writing after he thought, “This story has been running in the back of my head, why don’t I write it down?” After that defining moment he started writing and never stopped.  He finished his first short novel his freshman year of college, Lost Upon the Isle of Serenity, and decided to finally publish it his first year at Auburn with a publishing company, Pronoun, under the name D.R.L. Hicks. Later he published the sequel, Blaire’s Beginning, the fall of 2016 with the same publishing company.

He plans on continuing to write and teach long into the future. Even now he is working a new book called Easton State, a ghost story. As he continues teaching, he will keep recreating history for his students and as he continues writing, hopefully someday he will be on the best sellers list at the bookstore.