RICHMOND, Va. -- Jacqueline Drye is a great teacher at J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School in Richmond, but she is not always in her assigned classroom.
"The regular teacher is out on an extended medical leave, so somebody had to step in there," Ms. Drye said the day we showed up for an interview. "I volunteered."
It's just the kind of thing she has been doing ever since she joined the school as assistant principal in 2014. On her first day walking the halls, she liked almost everything she saw. But something was missing.
"I said to my principal, Jennifer Moore, 'Where's the choir?' She said, 'We don't have a choir.' I said 'Well now, would you like a choir?'" Ms. Drye recalled. "She said, 'Sure, but who's going to do it?'"
Ms. Drye volunteered and now the assistant principal and teacher is also the founder and director of the J.E.B. Stuart Elementary choir.
The children are loud and proud.
"They have so much energy and they want to perform," she said. "They want to make people happy."
Being a role model is one thing, but to do that consistently, selflessly, while always smiling and staying positive? That's how you build better minds.
"We have a slogan here," Ms. Drye said. "It says 'Our students are worth whatever it takes.' I don't know how I do it, but I find the time. And it just gets done."
Even when not at school she’s thinking about helping kids. Ms. Drye wrote two children’s books,
“Ms. Drye Tells a Story” and “Jo Jo the Bunny”.