In 1965, David Drewek was hired as Prairie’s first art teacher. Filled with enthusiasm and ambition, he taught his inaugural class in a hallway with a small supply of crayons, construction paper and scissors. Three years later, the school raised enough funds to build a 5,000-square foot art center. Forging ahead, Dave grew the department into a remarkable studio over his 36-year tenure.
“The best years of my life were spent teaching at Prairie. I can’t imagine having a better career, and I’m proud to say that I had the privilege of instructing some of the finest students.” – David
Under his guidance and creative direction, the school introduced pottery, metal casting, jewelry and photography into the classroom mix. In 1976, he established Prairie’s glassblowing curriculum — a program that continues to gain national recognition. Dave also founded the Visiting Artist Program, bringing experts from around the world to campus. Through this initiative, artists set up their studios at Prairie with the goal of inspiring students and faculty alike. In 1970, Dave launched Prairie’s yearbook, Etcetera, which continues to serve as a creative platform for Upper School students.
Dave Drewek’s influence extended far beyond the classroom. Deemed a favorite teacher by alumni, he empowered those around him to love all facets of art by unleashing their creative instincts. He not only served as an influential educator, but as an admirable mentor to his colleagues. Dave also played the role of Prairie parent by enrolling his children — Michael ‘84, Lisa ‘86 and Mark ‘90 — beginning in the Early School.