Ms. Driskell’s Path to Ames


Ms. Driskell, standing next to two of her favorite instruments, the violin and the piano.

Before going to college, Ms. Elizabeth Driskell had been debating between journalism and teaching. After being accepted into Northwestern University initially for journalism,  Ms. Driskell figured writing was the right path for her. Soon, she realized her writing led her to think about how much she had wanted to be a teacher. This was the beginning of what is now her 28th year of her music teaching career. For her, sharing her love of music with students everyday is a rewarding experience.

Ms. Driskell is able to play an astounding 17 instruments, including her favorites, the clarinet (42 years experience), the piano (39 years experience), and the violin, which she started playing in the beginning of her music directing career.  She has directed orchestras as well as bands in the Cedar Rapids area, Cornell College, and in Chicago, Illinois.  In the 2022-2023 school year, she will direct a freshman orchestra, and a 10-12 orchestra. New this year, she will also direct a collaboration between the orchestra and band, the Ames High Philharmonic.

The best part of teaching, according to Ms. Driskell, is no doubt the kids. She enjoys the energy surrounding the orchestra and having fun.  Ms. Driskell hopes that she can be a friendly face for all students, even beyond the orchestra and contribute to the positive and helpful atmosphere of the school. Ms. Driskell says she wants to honor what former orchestra director, Ms. Polashek has built.

In her free time, her favorite things to do are knitting and running. You can also see her supporting Ames High students at sports events. She also holds a fondness for animals and has fostered cats.