Albemarle senior Jessica Block hopes to be a teacher one day. In the meantime, Block is getting good practice as a leader for the undefeated Patriots volleyball team, and a coach for local special olympics teams.
"Both of my parents are special education teachers, so they kind of started it," Block says of her involvement with the special olympics. "My favorite is they just always smile and they always make your day. Just to see them, it brightens your day."
When she is not coaching or playing volleyball, Block is a dedicated student, and consitently a member of the honor roll.
"Jessica is every teacher's dream student," said Block's former Biology teacher, Carole Peters. "She's quiet in class, but her leadership role has really shown in laboratory situations, where she would take somebody who wasn't understanding something as well under her wing, and help those people out."
Block's volleyball coach Mark Ragland says, "Jessica is one of those kids who just puts everything she has into whatever she does."
Her dedication to volleyball has paid off. She holds the single season records at Albemarle for assists and service percentage. She could also be the career leader in both categories by the end of the season. However, Block is not just a leader when it comes to statistcs.
"I'm kind of the mother of the team, like I have a nickname, Mama J, because I always have all the stuff for all the girls, and I think that's something big that I bring to the team," says Block.
Ragland adds, "she's been in a lot of big situations, because during her career we've been in regionals and states, and she's had to step up and play even when she was very young against some fierce competition. I think those experiences really helped her to become a confident leader on the court."