Jeff Pack
Staff Writer

When second grade teacher Rob Shea heard that a teacher caravan drive by was canceled at his school, Vintage Hills Elementary School in Temecula, he needed to find a way to be able to see and talk to his students. 

“My wife, Trish, a teacher at Chaparral High School, suggested that we reverse the idea and have students drive by our house, so it would be much safer,” Shea said, adding that his wife’s students were planning to drive by later in the day. 

“With the cancellation of the remainder of the school year, and distance learning starting this Monday, April 6, I wanted to keep my class motivated to learn and also let them know that I miss them and that everything is going to be OK,” he said.

From left, Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, teachers Rob and Trish Shea, Peggy Shea and Joan Moultrie wait for students to show up for a teacher drive-by. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo

Shea also invited some special guests to sit in his driveway and wave and talk to the students. Joining him were his wife, his mother Peggy, Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington and storytime volunteer Joan Moultrie. 

“Are you keeping up with your reading?” Moultrie asked as each car came by. 

When the students pulled up in front of the house, they saw the signs that Shea and his wife had made for the children with their names and words of encouragement. 

Some of the students held signs out of the car windows, and each had a chat with their teacher. Shea also checked in with the parents of each student to see how they were holding up.

Vintage Hills Elementary School teacher Rob Shea waves as one of his students pulls up to his home. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo

Shea has been teaching for 25 years, spending 11 years teaching fifth graders and 14 in second grade. 

“It doesn’t matter if someone is teaching elementary school, middle school or high school, students want to know that you care about them,” Shea said. “Maintaining a personal connection with your students is key to their success. If the students know you care about them, they will certainly give you their best effort.”

Shea said being able to see most of his students come by the house to see him was uplifting. 

“It was very heartwarming to see that students made signs for me and held them out of the car,” he said. “Also, a few VHES families showed up, and I did not have their children as students. 

“The great thing about this event was that I got to speak to each student, individually, as they stopped by the house. It was more emotional than I thought it would be, knowing that I will now be teaching online, and not interacting with my students on a personal level each day,” Shea said.

A Vintage Hills Elementary School student smiles as she talks to her teacher, Rob Shea, during a teacher drive-by. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo

During the event, teachers from Temecula Luiseño Elementary School drove through the neighborhood, honking and waving to the group, as they headed out on a caravan of their own. 

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at

Vintage Hills Elementary School students hold signs out of the window of their truck during a visit with their teacher. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo
Joan Moultrie waves to one of the students she reads to in Rob Shea’s Vintage Hills Elementary School classroom. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo
A Vintage Hills Elementary School student proudly displays the sign she made for her teacher. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo
Teacher Rob Shea reacts to the signs being held up by his student from inside their van during a drive-by visit to Shea’s house. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo
Teacher Rob Shea talks with students from the safety of their vehicle during a drive-by teacher visit. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo