James River Day School

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Margaret Daniel

Mrs. Margaret D. Daniel joined the faculty of James River in 1982. In addition to teaching second grade, Margaret is the grades 2-4 team leader and yearbook co-editor. She earned her B.S. from East Carolina University.

Margaret grew up in Chesterfield County, near Richmond, where her family ran a motel. She and her two sisters learned the value of hard work early in life. Margaret says, "we had to cut 12 acres of grass, work as a waitresses, and wait on motel customers, and when the cleaning lady didn’t come, we had to clean rooms." She attended Chowan Junior College receiving an associate degree in education. She went on to East Carolina University, where she received her B.S. in education and met her husband Buddy Daniel. Margaret has been teaching since 1970.

Margaret and Buddy live in Lynchburg.They are the proud parents of two adult daughters, Heather and Hunter, both James River alumnae. They have two wonderful son-in-laws, Daryl and Sammy, and five grandchildren: Dowd (deceased), Hatcher, Sawyer, Macon-Rives, and Caroline, whom they adore. Margaret also serves on the board of Kids Haven, a non-profit organization assisting grieving children.

Margaret says of her teaching career, "When I came to JRDS, I initially taught fifth grade for five years, but I have been teaching second [ever since]. When I first came here, there were only about 40 students. I have taught in just about every classroom. When I began here, JRDS did not have a playground. All we had was 4-square and kickball in the parking lot. The kitchen was a closet. The grilled cheese [sandwiches] always caught on fire and made the entire school smell. We had our plays at Randolph Macon and First Presbyterian Church; later, we had them in a classroom where the art room and bathroom are now located. The next big additions were the library and middle school, followed by the Carrington Field House, which has really been a huge success for our school as far as the sport activities it has enabled. The new music room in the Varner Music & Arts Center is fabulous, and our music program has grown by leaps and bounds. Now, we've added a new middle school wing, and it has allowed the old science lab to be converted into a STEAM lab that we are all excited about having available to us. Wow, have we grown!"
 
"Teaching at JRDS is so much fun: class sizes are small, students are wonderful, parents supportive, teachers make the curriculum, and we get to TEACH."