Drinks With....

Each month, Root Realty sits down with a mover-and-shaker, someone who is cool, captivating, and a consistent contributor to our Jacksonville community! We bring their favorite drink and a list of questions, and at the end we cheers to the city we love.


Darryl Willie

Honorable School Board District #4 Member + Executive Director at Teach For America

What are you drinking?

A sweet sweet Arnold Palmer--sweet lemonade, plus sweet tea!

What is it that you do?

Technically, I am the Honorable School Board District #4 Member but what I actually do is advocate on behalf of our students.

What is a typical day for you?

I wake up with at least one foot in my face hence our daughters aged 4, 3, and 1 as they all somehow end up in our bed by morning. I prep the girls for school and drop them off. Then, the busy work day begins attending board workshops, reading local news, communicating with parents + stakeholders in the community, and I call home for a quick "I love you" to my wife “be sure to include that”. Later I am visiting schools to see the great things happening, meeting with community members about investing + advocating for our students, finishing up emails/phone calls and ending the work day by stopping by a community function. Once I return home, I try to "turn off" as best as possible so I can enjoy time with my girls, eat dinner together, then we finish homework and prepare for bed with story time. After bedtime, my wife and I spend time together and then I wrap up the day with some last minute emails.


What is your favorite part of your job?

The ability to elevate the voices of our students and help be a conduit to what they can be and do. One of my favorite moments was when I was visiting a local high school and a young African American student seemed shock to see someone like me in a position like the School Board. I told him, "I'm just keeping the seat warm for you." Those moments are what remind me of the important work we have to do here in our city.

What do you love about Jacksonville?

Anything outdoors: walking along the beach and river, attending outdoor festivals/movies, or heading to the Zoo. Just getting to be outside 11 months of the year and knowing the impact that can have on our health and longevity make this something I really appreciate.