From zero to nearly 100.
That’s how far Adriana Harrington took students in her first teaching job in inner-city Memphis. When she arrived there, none of the school’s students were graduating, but in the span of about four years, nearly ALL of them were.
Along with her principal at the time, Adriana was a huge part of that effort because she took the time to reach students, listen to them, touch their lives, and build a connection that sparked a new love for learning. Futures were changed under Adriana’s watch.
To her, that’s what education is all about. She is a teacher and advocate at heart who has now taken aim at creating positive change at a broader level.
Adriana is doing that through her work with Excel In Ed, where she is a countrywide policy advisor for kids in every state. That experience in Memphis served to make her even more passionate about the work she does and all that must still be done for the nation’s youth.
“She’s very well respected by everyone who works with her,” her husband, Patrick, said. “She’s very devoted when she is working on something. It’s 100% all the time.”
Patrick has deep respect for Adriana across the board, but her desire to work that hard and do so much good in a given day is near the top of the list.
Those qualities are present in her career, but even more so at home with Patrick and their daughters Alena (3) and Layla (8 months). Adriana finds the right balance between her career and being an attentive mother and wife.
The same motivation is at the heart of those roles, where it’s all about serving others. Patrick admires her dedication to being her very best and for always looking out for the interests of others ahead of her own.
“She is the quintessential life force of the family,” Patrick said. “She holds everyone together. What I love most about her is her care for all people. She truly wants everyone to do well and she will help anyone, any way she can, to fulfill their dreams.”
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Adriana has plenty to juggle in the face of a pandemic, where her focus is spread across working from home and caring for the kids. But she keeps her cool and handles whatever is thrown her way, which is an area where Patrick admits he could learn a thing or two.
Still, Patrick’s nerves are part of their love story and he wouldn’t want to change any of it. He says he was “a nervous wreck” on their first date at Cafe 1912, which is where a three-year journey began through long distance and everything else threw at them.
When it came time to propose, Patrick was the same ball of nerves, and he had Adriana on high alert that something might be coming.
“I was pacing pretty much all day,” Patrick said. “She said she had a feeling of what was about to happen.”
Adriana has always found a way to make Patrick feel more comfortable in moments like those, just as she can be there for her students and her kids. It’s all a package deal with Adriana, where she’s going to give everything she’s got to uplift those around her.
Adriana is a passionate educator, a loving wife, and a fantastic mother, and Patrick and the kids love and appreciate all she does for them.
“She is very much loved,” he said. “We appreciate everything she does for us, even though we don’t say it or I don’t show it as much as I should. She holds everyone together.”