Phone: (217)-362-3250


Degrees and Certifications:

BFA, Art Education, SIUC MA, Art Education, EIU

Ms. Merry Lanker

Merry K. Lanker
SDMS Art Teacher, Cross Country Coach, & Student Council Sponsor
Click here to visit the Art Room Facebook page!


I attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL and graduated with an honors degree magna cum laude in Art Education & Art History in 2008. I also ran cross country and track while at SIUC. I have a Masters in Art Education from Eastern Illinois University that I completed in 2017. 



This year marks the beginning of my 12th school year with Decatur Public Schools and 8th year with Stephen Decatur. I worked as an itinerant art teacher at various elementary schools (Durfee, Muffley, Enterprise, & Stevenson) for 4 years prior to joining the team at SDMS.  

In addition to teaching art for DPS61, I am a team building facilitator for the University of Illinois at the 4H Memorial Camp in Allerton Park. We do low ropes team building, cardboard boat racing, and high ropes team building with a 35 ft climbing tower and 300 ft zip line. It is way too much fun.

When I have time, I also teach art lessons for both the Decatur Area Art Council and the Monticello Area Art Council. Additionally, I teach private art lessons from time to time.


I’m the oldest of 5 kids. I have 1 brother and 3 sisters. One of my sisters is also an art teacher; she works in Mahomet, IL. My mom is a school nurse in Monticello, IL and my dad is a doctor in Monticello and Champaign, IL. I spend most of my free time on my own art, reading, working out at the Decatur Area YMCA, traveling around the country, and walking my favorite pit bull Fortinbras. I love to garden and love bringing my flowers into the school to share with others.  

Room #7


Phone: (217) 362-3250