“Education is the greatest gift you can give,” Ms. Kiera Driskell, office manager at Dove Academy said. “It is something that no one can ever take away.”
Empowering and investing in kids is what Ms. Driskell was born to do. Her position as an office assistant at Dove gives her an avenue to do so.
Ms. Driskell has been a member of the Dove family since 1999 when she enrolled her son at Dove.
From the first day she toured the school as a parent, she fell in love with the school. The staff and students were what her son needed to thrive.
“The classes were smaller and I could feel the positive energy as I walked through the halls,” Ms. Driskell said. “The school was intentional about my child’s needs and provided an education that was superb.”
Once her children were school-aged, she knew she had to find a job that would fit within her schedule. She was working at a daycare center when the then-principal asked her to help out as a recess duty assistant, she couldn’t resist. Her position as recess duty assistant led her to become a kindergarten para-pro in 2003. In 2009, she then landed the position of the school’s office assistant.
Her journey at Dove has turned into a life long journey of influencing the lives of students. Every. Single. Day.
She is the bright, shining light when you enter into the building of Dove Academy. She knows all the kids by name and loves them all deeply.
Now, 16 years later she is still going strong and doesn’t see an end in sight. She plans on staying at Dove until she retires.
She wants to impact kids lives.
“At Dove Academy, we are providing an opportunity for students to learn that they can have a better life with an education. To learn life skills beyond the books is what happens here,” Driskell said.
This is evident through the stories that she tells of building relationships with parents and helping them to figure out how to get permanent housing, food assistance or birth certificates. Her shoulder provides a safe place for hugs and tears as students and staff experience life – the highs and lows.
Ms. Driskell is a prime example of living a life of doing what you love. She commented that “when you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.”
Ms. Driskell is the ‘Mother of Dove.’
Even though she is the youngest of eight kids, she has always had a motherly love. After losing her mom at a young age, she knew that she had to be that for others. Her mom was her everything and losing her was one of the most painful things she ever experienced. She knows the importance of what having a strong, courageous mother figure in life was like and wanted to provide that to others.
“When I look at the kids, I am them. I want to be the person that helps them succeed, even if it means I get to be their mom. That is the most rewarding name,” Driskell commented with a smile.
She also has been believed in and trusted through all transitions of principals and students that have come through the building.
And, through all of the transitions of amazing leadership and exceptional teachers, Driskell believes that Dove Academy’s current staff is dynamite and nothing that she has experienced before. “Having Tommy Brooks and Paul Ezel lead the team is incredible. They have a relationship of respect and never undermine each other’s leadership,” Driskell said. “The energy that is created among the team is unexplainable.
“Ms. Driskell is a beam of light every day when I walk into Dove Academy,” Tommy Brooks, principal at Dove Academy. “She provides history and love that embodies the classrooms and hallways every day. She makes everything work. She is the person that helps to put all the pieces together and builds relationships that last a lifetime. We cannot thank Ms. Driskell enough for her dedication and commitment to the Dove Nation. She is our hidden gem.”