New USC principal is all ready for school
It is a long way from Proctor to Wells, 261 miles to be exact, but that is the move new United South Central High School principal Julie Stauber made before the beginning of this school year.
It is a little bit of a change for someone who has spent most of her life living in the northern part of Minnesota.
“I was born in Duluth and grew up and graduated in nearby Proctor,” Stauber explains. “I went to college at the University of Wisconsin Superior and then taught in Michigan and Wisconsin before returning to Minnesota.”
And yes, being from northern Minnesota, hockey has been a big part of her life.
“My husband Dan, who I met in college, was the head hockey coach at UW Superior for 20 years and our son, Owen, played hockey,” Stauber says. “I have already been invited by a friend to go to Albert Lea and watch hockey. Another friend has told me they can get tickets to a Minnesota State Mavericks hockey game so I have some options.”
Growing up, Stauber shares she was a cheerleader and a drum majorette in high school.
“I have always taken on the role of being a support person,” she shares.
It is a role she has embraced in her teaching career where she has not only taught language arts in the classroom, but has also been a staff development and Q Comp coordinator.
“I believe education is going through a shift right now,” Stauber states. “Anyone who wants to learn something can get information on the Internet. For example, the washing machine in our house broke down and Dan and I were able to find a YouTube video and learn how to fix it.”
She says the role of the teacher is changing so the educators are teaching more skills than content.
“Teachers used to be the sage on the stage or the guide on the side,” she notes. “Now they are the mentor in the middle.”
Stauber says her role as a staff development coordinator gave her the opportunity to learn about all of the different shifts in education.
“Fortunately, because I was still a classroom teacher, I was able to put what I learned into practice,” she shares.
Stauber was a young elementary student when she first began taking an interest in teaching.
“I was in fifth or sixth grade and I was asked to read into a tape recorder for younger kids, who would then listen to the tapes,” she comments. “I also taught Vacation Bible School.”
Prior to her job in the Proctor School District, she had been a teacher at the Alternative High School in Cloquet for 10 years.
“I lost my job in Cloquet because of a budget crisis but learned of the job opening in Proctor from some of my former teachers,” Stauber says. “I was hired the day before school started and had the privilege of teaching along side some of the same people who were my teachers when I was a student at the school.”
In 2013 she was a candidate for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year.
“The teachers at Proctor put me up for the award,” Stauber shares. “It was an honor just to be nominated.”
And now she begins her job at USC, taking over for the retiring Kelly Schlaak.
“Our kids are all grown up. Our oldest, Nora is married to Scott and lives in St. Cloud. Owen, our middle child, is married to Mikaela and they live in Omaha, Nebraska and they have a daughter, Cecelia. Our youngest is Natalie and she is in California chasing her dreams,” Stauber says with a smile.
Being closer to her son’s family in Omaha played a part in Stauber’s decision to take the job at USC.
“The trip is very doable from here,” she notes.
Stauber shares she just bought a house in the area but her husband is still the activities director at Proctor High School.
“He has a good job and we will actually see each other about as much as when he coached hockey in college because he was gone recruiting players quite often,” she says. “We both come from big families and we get together whenever we can at a family cabin up north.”
She is excited for the school year to begin.
“Everyone in the community has been so welcoming,” she shares. “People have been bringing me food from their gardens and have been so supportive.”
She also talked about some of her goals for the upcoming school year.
“There is a big focus on social and emotional learning,” Stauber says. “It is important we not only think of our students in that regard but we also need to remember to support our staff at the school who have had to change the way they teach in this environment.”
Through it all, Stauber remains upbeat about the coming school year.
“We want to teach good behavior and emphasize positive attitudes in everything we do,” she concludes.