‘Mr. Rose Hill’ Has Been Helping Students Bloom for Decades

By Office of Communications
June 10, 2024

Danny Adams was in Mrs. Walter’s sixth grade class at Cameron Elementary School when he first considered becoming a teacher. 

“She read to us the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ book series,” he remembered. “I loved those stories. She instilled in me the love of reading. I can also remember loving learning.” 

A teacher high fives studentsBeing tall — he’s 6’8” — he says people assumed he would play basketball. But after graduating from Edison High School, he went to work. He saved money to attend Northern Virginia Community College and then Marymount University. And he stuck with the idea of becoming a teacher. 

Danny accomplished his goal to teach, and in 1987 he started teaching at Rose Hill Elementary School, the school where he continues to teach to this day. He’s taught first, second, third, and fourth grade. He is currently teaching first graders. 

“My mother always instilled in me that caring about others was so important,” he said. “What other career can you do where caring is so important? I can’t imagine any other occupation where you can spend that much time each day feeling like you have made a difference in a life; let alone a number of lives.”

And he continues to make a difference. For many years, he has handwritten each of his students a letter after being in his class, and another when they leave Rose Hill after completing the sixth grade. 

“I do it to let them know that they are loved, and that I am proud of them and that they matter to me always,” he said. “I hope those words have meant something to them. I hope my students come to love learning and realize that they have talents and that they can be whatever they want to be. I just want them to be happy, and to realize that they matter.”

“Danny Adams is now teaching the children of his former students, and everyone knows who Mr. Adams is,” said Rose Hill Principal Rachal Edwards. “Mr. Adams builds long-lasting relationships with his students and their families and ensures that his students are learning and having fun doing it.”

A class photo from 1989Spending time with his students is Danny’s favorite part of his job. “My students have always made me laugh and feel special,” he said. “Never having children of my own, the students I have worked with and loved have become my children in a way. My students have given me so much love over the years. They have become my legacy.”

And in many ways, Danny is the legacy of FCPS. “I am so proud to be a product of FCPS and now an employee of FCPS,” Danny said. “When I see a school bus pass by me with FCPS on the side, it makes me smile and realize that I work for the very best school system in the country. The dedication this school system has to excellence — being at the forefront of new strategies and curriculum, and never wavering in its commitment to its students — has remained the same.”

But, over the span of his career, Danny has experienced a lot of changes, which he says he doesn’t handle well. But his principal enjoys his perspective on the way things used to be.  

“Danny has provided instruction on chalkboards, overhead projectors, and SmartBoards and has done so without blinking an eye,” Principal Edwards said. “Do you remember mimeographs? Danny does and he’ll share with you how cool it is that we now have copiers that can make things in color!”

Though some days can be difficult, Danny always finds inspiration in the colleagues he looked up to when he first  started working at Rose Hill. 

“There were a number of teachers — my first mentors — who were in the profession for 25 years or more,” he says. “I wanted to be like them — loved, admired, and seen as extremely loyal and dependable. I just hope that Carolyn Brown, Margaret George, and Nancy Williams are proud of me and the teacher I have become; that I have carried on their tradition, and that my work is reflective of the type of work they did.”

Although those colleagues have all passed away, “their love for their students and this school still lives on in me,” Danny said. 

“I have been told many times over the years that I am ‘Mr. Rose Hill.’ I always blush when I hear that,” Danny says humbly. But, he adds, “Being a Rose Hill Rocket is all that I want to be.”