Lee drama director benefited all students

To the editor:

On April 15, Lee Youth Drama director Jessica "Jess" Pollard took her final bow after the production of "Annie Jr." After 13 years of directing drama for numerous productions and leading more than 900 students, Jess stepped down from the director position.

Jess has a very special gift for directing, and she pours her heart and soul into her work. She has the ability to see potential in all of the students. Jess has an incredible nurturing side which helps the students learn to grow and to believe in themselves.

My son Michael, who is now 14, has Down syndrome and joined Lee Youth Drama nine years ago. At that time, Michael exhibited behavior issues which definitely would have made a drama director think twice about having him join. As Michael seemed to have an interest in drama productions, Jess welcomed him with an open heart, open arms, and most importantly an open mind.

It was difficult at first for Michael to learn what was expected of him, and he would test the waters, but Jess never threw in the towel. She was determined to give Michael the chance to become an actor and within time she did just that. Michael's nine years in drama have helped him mature into a wonderful actor and a fine young man.


Thank you, Jess Pollard, for your years of compassion and dedication to the drama department and giving all students the chance to learn and grow. You are a unique drama director who looked outside of the box and gave Michael a chance. There are not many (if any) directors who would have done what you did to help Michael succeed in drama. I will always be grateful for the drama experience my son gained because he had a drama director who truly cared. You will always have a very special place in my heart.

Kelly Koperek, Lee