Never say "never" could be Sam Houston Elementary Principal Julie Beasley's motto.
Growing up as the daughter of Gordonsville Elementary School teacher LaVonne Walker, Beasley was certain she "never wanted to teach." That is why when Beasley, who lived in Wilson County but attended Gordonsville Elementary and High Schools, enrolled in Middle Tennessee State University she elected to study broadcast journalism.
However, as fate would have it - teaching was in Beasley's future. "I kept feeling this overwhelming sense that I was supposed to teach but was unsettled because this was not the 'plan' I had made for myself. I discussed these feelings with my mom and by the second semester, I had changed my major to Elementary Education and was confident in my decision to become a teacher," she said.
Beasley completed her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and master's degree in Administration and Supervision from MTSU. She also has an Educational Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Technological University.
Beasley began her career teaching seventh grade math at Walter J. Baird Middle School, where she stayed for seven years. "I had always seen myself as an elementary teacher, but when you are trying to find a teaching job, you take what you can get," she joked. "However, this was the best experience I could have hoped for. I worked with amazing educators who taught me so much."
She was next given the opportunity to become an assistant principal at LaVergne Middle School for two years before being offered the principal's position at Sam Houston.
"The most rewarding part of being principal at Sam Houston is seeing the excitement that children have coming in to school every morning. Their smiles, hugs and stories start each day off to a bright start," she said. "It is also extremely rewarding when they explain to you something new that they have learned or discovered in class."
Beasley noted that she is supported by a great staff. "The teachers and staff at our school go above and beyond in order to meet the needs of our students and make our learning environment so inviting."
When she isn't at school, Beasley spends time with her husband of seven years, Kent, and their sons, Jack Walker Beasley, 5, and Ben Thomas Beasley, 2. She also loves shopping, reading and "hunting for antiques at auctions and estate sales."
Beasley said several women have inspired her throughout her life. She named her grandmothers, Doris Washer and Grace Walker and her mother to start. "My mother worked as a teacher for 42 years while raising three daughters and helping to care for her grandchildren and our grandparents," she explained. "Another woman that has provided inspiration to me is Dr. Sharon Roberts, who is the Chief Operating Officer at SCORE.
"She was the Director of Schools for the Lebanon Special School District and hired me at Sam Houston Elementary. Dr. Roberts exemplified strong leadership skills focused on meeting the needs of the children. She has always been committed to education and helping teachers grow professionally."