A back arrow

All Articles

A VIP's very important visit

A VIP's very important visit

Zoë Hill ’22 April 19, 2023

First Lady Jill Biden visited a local school where senior Lexi Fee is a student teacher as part of UD’s early childhood education program.

Second graders at Beverly Gardens Elementary in Riverside, Ohio, got a hands-on civics lesson when First Lady Jill Biden stopped by.

The First Lady visited the Purple Star school — a designation that recognizes schools that show commitment to students and families that are connected to the U.S. military — as part of her Joining Forces initiative to support current military personnel, veterans and their families. Three-fourths of students at Beverly Gardens Elementary have parents stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The kids weren’t allowed to know about the First Lady’s visit in advance, only that a “very important person” was joining them along with several members of the media and the VIP’s security, according to University of Dayton senior Lexi Fee.

Jill Biden greeting the teachers.
Jill Biden shaking hands with Lexi Fee '23


Fee is a student teacher at the school as part of her early childhood education program at UD. She said she got a call from the teacher of her class a few days before the visit letting her know Biden was coming.

“So that was a pretty interesting phone call,” Fee said. “There was kind of an anxiety and angst about the First Lady coming into your classroom for the next few days.”

Fee and other school staff had to prepare the room for the visit and speak with members of the media, Secret Service and White House representatives. After a few days of preparation, Biden joined the class for their math studies.

Jill Biden engaging with the students.
The First Lady interacting with the students.


Afterwards, the teachers told the class who Biden was, and they were especially excited to learn that she lived in the White House, Fee said.

“That made them absolutely go crazy,” Fee said. “The thought of someone living in the White House — they were so excited.”

Fee had the chance to chat with the First Lady, who shared with Fee how hopeful she was to see young interest in the future of education. Biden herself is an educator at Northern Virginia Community College and knows the busy work that comes with being one.

Biden admitted to Fee that she was grading papers on the flight over.

Caring for the youngest minds