A Letter from Dayna's dad



    A parent always hopes in their heart that their child will grow up to make them proud.  Dayna has made this Dad very proud. She has always had that intrinsic quality to motivate and lead.  From organizing neighborhood playmates to perform in talent shows on the lawns for parents, to representing her high school faculty as a NHEA building representative, she has never failed to impress.

Dayna, as a child, was intelligent, inquisitive, and very responsible.  She met challenges head-on and never backed down to anyone who attempted to block her enthusiasm.  She won spelling bees and science fairs. She twirled her baton in parades, danced as Bambi in her ballet recital, and played duets with her piano teacher during performances.  She spent her summers as a trail guide at a local horseback riding stable making $2 an hour!     

As a teenager, she was always seeking to improve herself through hard work.  Dayna was always an excellent student, graduating with honors from high school while at the same time being a successful track athlete, an award-winning varsity cheerleader, an accomplished equestrian barrel racer, and a waitress at the local A&W Restaurant.  

    As a young adult Dayna received her Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  She then pursued a lifelong goal of working in the movie industry, so she packed her bags and moved alone to Los Angeles, California, working her way up to a management position in features casting at Paramount Pictures in just three years.  Dayna missed her family back home, so she returned to Michigan to obtain her teaching certificate and begin her high school English teaching career at New Haven High School where she has twice been named “Teacher of the Year.” For the past decade Dayna has driven 106 miles a day from Livonia to teach her students in New Haven.  She calls New Haven High School her “home” and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dayna also became a successful small business owner by creating and operating Detroit Casting Company when the film incentive came to Michigan.  I have seen her skill as a casting director when she auditions Michigan actors for major movie roles. She is able to analyze and evaluate talent objectively.  I am confident that she will use these skills to make Michigan a better place to live and serve her constituents well.

Fourteen years ago, Dayna met her husband, Jim, who was then a young father of three young children, and they have been together ever since.  Jim has worked at Ford Motor Company in Wayne for 19 years and currently sings in two bands.

As Dayna’s father and a retired American Government teacher, I know that Dayna will be a great State Senator for Michigan’s 7th District.  She is a genuinely good person and will always fight for what is right for Michiganders.


Frank Polehanki