Julie Julius, a 4K teacher in the Platteville School District, has accomplished something very few others have. Julius learned recently that she earned professional certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Julius is one of 67 teachers in the state to accomplish the honor this year and one of 6,266 teachers nationwide.
Julius, 38, is a native of Livingston, having graduated from Iowa-Grant High School in 1991. Following high school, Julius earned her BS degree in elementary education at UW-Platteville. She began her teaching career at the Prairie du Chien Middle School, where she taught sixth and seventh grade geography and social studies.
Julius later moved to Platteville where she taught at the UW-Platteville Children's Center for one year. For the past 12 years she has taught in the Platteville School District. All of those years, except one, have been spent teaching 4K at the O.E. Gray or Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center. She spent one year teaching at the high school.
Ever since she can remember, Julius has always wanted to be a teacher. "I knew when I was in kindergarten," she said. "I just loved kids and knew that I wanted to try to work with them and families."
Julius enjoys teaching 4K because she gets to be with the young children and introduce their families to the Platteville School District.
The certification that Julius earned was for 4K through sixth grade. "I love teaching 4K, but wanted to challenge myself with a new curriculum," she said.
The test shows what Julius can do with literacy for students through sixth grade.
Having passed the certification, Julius earned $2,500 each year for the next 10 years from the national board. She will also receive a one-time bonus from the Platteville School District of $2,700.
As for the future, Julius would like to pursue teaching at a higher grade level. The addition of the recent certification through sixth grade should serve her well in that pursuit.
Julius is the third teacher in the district to earn the national certification.
The process began in September 2010. It included Julius writing four portfolios, each 12-26 pages in length. The program also included Julius videotaping a lesson and letters of accomplishment from others, including district administrators and community members.
Julius submitted the necessary requirements on March 31 and she took a test in April, which included six essay questions. She was made aware of the results last month.
The process was long and much hard work was involved; however, Julius strongly recommends the program to all of her peers. "This is the best professional development I have ever experienced," she said. "It's all about the children and our classroom and what we do is right for each individual child."
Julius' teaching license was for five years; however, this new certification boosts her license to 10 years.
Julie and her husband, Jason, who is a teacher at Platteville High School, have three sons: Blake, 8th grade; Trent, 6th grade; and Dayne, 3rd grade.
This process was a good learning opportunity for Julius' sons. They were able to see their mother work hard, be patient, and now see the rewards of that work.