Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6. On Monday, Julie Weavel was presented some hardware recognizing the impact that she has made in her career in education.
During the 43rd annual Wisconsin Association for Bilingual Education conference April 22-24 in Wisconsin Dells, Weavel was a recipient of the Educator of the Year award.
Weavel, one of four ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers and the department chair at Indian Trail High School, did not attend the conference. She was informed of the honor via a congratulatory text message from Sarah Shanebook Smith, the KUSD Coordinator of Language Acquisition Programs.
“It was a very nice surprise,” said Weavel, a Waukesha native who resides in Pleasant Prairie with her husband Ron.In her 32nd year teaching, Weavel has been at Indian Trail since 2012. After starting her career at Brookwood Elementary School in Genoa City, Weavel had stints in Clintonville and California before taking a job at Vernon Elementary School in 1999.
Weavel, who has been selected as the Kenosha.com Kenoshan of the Week, took time to talk to Kenosha.com about her award and career in education.
Kenosha.com: It’s always nice to be recognized for your work, isn’t it?
Weavel: It is. I’m very honored. The Wisconsin Association for Bilingual Education is a statewide association and they look at nominees from all over the state. It was pretty cool to be put in that group.
Kenosha.com: Did you grow up speaking a second language?
Weavel: I did not. When I left elementary school, I was very interested in languages and I was good in English. When you leave elementary school and go to middle school your teachers make recommendations. They said, ‘Hey, Julie should take another language.’ So, I picked Spanish and went from there.
Kenosha.com: I would imagine that your job is rewarding.
Weavel: I love my job. I think that I have one of the best jobs in education because I get to see my students grow. I get to see them be successful. Just helping a student access education … as they become more educated, they become more independent. It’s just watching them grow. I find it very rewarding.
Kenosha.com: When did you know that you wanted to make this your life’s work?
Weavel: I had family members who were educators before me. I’ve just always enjoyed working with students and young people and trying to help them become the best people they can be.Kenosha.com: I’m sure you’ve seen some success stories in your time as an educator. Are there any that stand out?
Weavel: I’m equally proud of all of my students as I watch them grow because every single one is so different. They all come from such a very different place to start. It’s difficult to compare them. Over the years, some of the kids I’ve worked with have come from very challenging backgrounds. They were the first person who graduated from high school in their family. The successes they’ve had and the things they’ve overcome as individuals has made each story its own story. They’re all very successful kids and I’m very proud of them.