The bookshelves in Julie Walls’s office at Frear Elementary School are still bare, her desk is clear of paper, and new challenges await as the next school year is now in sight.
Walls was appointed Allen Frear Elementary School’s new assistant principal by the Caesar Rodney Board of Education last week. On Wednesday morning, the Milford resident and Caesar Rodney graduate took a seat at her new desk for the first time.
Walls attended school in the district from kindergarten straight through high school. Eight years ago, she became a Rider once again, only this time it was as a teacher at Allen Frear Elementary.
“Coming back to the district has been an honor,” Walls said. “When you graduate from a school and you come back it gives you a sense of accomplishment and a sense of giving back to your community. I went to these schools and I had great teachers and I want the opportunity to give that back.”
Since her return to the district, Walls, who is beginning her eighth year with the district, has taught second, third, fourth and fifth grade before becoming the school’s achievement liaison last year.
Before entering the classroom Walls earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education and special education at the University of Delaware. She continued on to earn two master’s degrees from Wilmington University, one in instruction and the other in school leadership.
“I always knew that I wanted to be involved in education and to work with students,” Walls said. “I just kept furthering my education, and then working in different grade levels provided lots of different experience led to the opportunity to become assistant principal.”
Walls describes herself as an ambitious and driven person. Her young age makes for a challenge and advantage, Walls said. One of the benefits of her age is a fresh perspective that can inspire innovation.
One way that Walls was able to innovate at Frear was with the creation of the Frear Frequent Flyers parental involvement reward card, a program that she implemented during her time as an achievement liaison. This program was created as a system for rewarding parents for getting involved at Frear.
Lt. Gov. Matt Denn awarded Allen Frear with the excellence in parental involvement award for the 2012-2013 school year, based in part on the Frear Frequent Flyer program. Gaining parental involvement is an effort that Walls says she intends to continue in her new post.
“Our motto is one team, one goal, no limits,” Walls said. “We really try and promote our one team, one goal motto throughout the community, so that the community members feel that they’re a part of our school. We need their support and we value their support.”
Page 2 of 2 - The Excellence in Parental Involvement award wasn’t the first work-related honor that Walls has been bestowed with. She was named as Allen Frear’s Teacher of the Year in 2011.
The new assistant principal is looking forward to having an even larger impact on Allen Frear than she has in the past, she said.
“The biggest reason that I wanted to be an assistant principal is so that I can impact a larger population, Walls said. “In the classroom you work with 25 students. When you become and assistant principal you work with a lot more students, parents and teachers.”
For right now, Walls is enjoying the excitement of a new position, but she still has her eyes on a few long-term goals.
“I’d always like to continue my education,” she said. “Professionally, I’d like to just work to increase our student achievement and parental involvement and keep supporting teachers, in order to achieve a quality education for everyone.”