Jessica Draper M.Ed Headshot

Hello! My Name Is…

My name is Jessica Draper, and I am currently a fourth grade special education teacher at Galax City Elementary School in the small, mountainous city of Galax, Virginia. I moved to Galax three years ago from Farmville, Virginia, where I taught for four years and attended elementary through high school. Upon moving to Galax, I started a family. I have a two and a half year old little girl who is the light of my life. She and I enjoy spending time visiting antique stores, attending auctions, and filling my small booth in a local antique store full of treasures. We live on a small beef cattle farm and spend much time outdoors working on the farm and playing in the yard. I enjoy running and participating in cross training classes in my spare time (haha!).

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree here at Averett University?

Beginning school again as a new mom was a huge decision, but one that was necessary to achieve my ultimate dream of working in administration. My biggest motivation is my students. The students in my community deserve a leader that is knowledgeable and dedicated- that is what keeps me going! Once this program is complete, the impact I will be able to make will be much greater than what I am currently able to do.

Why did you choose Averett University’s Graduate & Professional Studies program?

I chose Averett’s Graduate and Professional Studies Program because the program was completely online and flexible. The teachers and mentors were involved with my learning immediately and reassured me that I would be successful, even though the program was a large undertaking.

How has your degree from Averett University assisted you in your career?

The GPS degree program has allowed my leadership skills to flourish and come around full circle. As I have said many times, my confidence has increased and it shows in my daily work with the students, parents, and teachers in my community.

The teachers and mentors were involved with my learning immediately and reassured me that I would be successful, even though the program was a large undertaking.

What advice would you share for current and incoming students in Averett University’s GPS Program?

Be involved, communicate openly with your instructors, soak in every reading, participate in discussion posts, and glean all knowledge possible from field experience opportunities. These experiences have expanded my confidence in myself as a teacher and, furthermore, allowed me to see that I can and will become a leader in my community one day.

What keeps you motivated while in your degree program?

The end is in sight and the benefits are much greater than the amount of work that is currently being done! I have made it almost two years working full time, attending school full-time, and raising a child, now I know I can do anything that I set my mind to!

What is your anticipated date of graduation?

My anticipated date of graduation is May 2019! I am beyond blessed and excited to finally close my administration degree journey and hopefully open many doors to possible administrative positions in my district.

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