Julie and her husband Jon have lived in District 4 in the Laurel area since 2002. Jon is an Army veteran who works in national security at Fort Meade. Their five children have logged 59 school years across eight different Anne Arundel County Public Schools, with more to come! Jack, Eric, and Ben are currently in college, and Beckett and Joseph are students at Meade High School.
Julie has been an advocate for children and families throughout her adult life. After earning a degree in English from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in special education from Old Dominion University, she taught children with special needs for five years and learned how vital it is to speak out for those who aren’t able to speak for themselves.
Once their children started school, Julie became an involved team member, bringing in tens of thousands of dollars in cultural arts grants and serving as PTA President for four years. As her school population grew, Julie led community action to address the school overcrowding. She organized parents to speak at Board of Education and County Council meetings, sent out press releases, met with county and school officials, and learned the ins and outs of zoning laws and sewage capacity. Her efforts resulted in the opening in 2014 of the Monarch Global Academy, a K-8 AACPS contract school that currently serves over 800 students. Through her hard work and that of the community, overcrowding was alleviated at three elementary schools, and another school choice option was made available to families.
In 2015, Julie broadened her advocacy beyond her local school to the entire county when she was appointed to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education. Over the next five+ years, she served as a fierce voice for children, families, and the employees of AACPS. During her tenure, the Board enacted new and expanded policies addressing educational equity, bullying, biased behavior, and harassment. While serving as Board Vice President, the school system issued the first guidelines for transgender students in the state. While she served as President, the Board was twice awarded the prestigious Magna Award from the National Association of Boards of Education for outstanding equity programs.
During her time on the Board, an unprecedented number of capital improvement projects were authorized and implemented, including the first new high school in Anne Arundel County in more than 35 years. Capital projects Julie championed for District 4 schools include additions to Millersville, Odenton, Brock Bridge, and Maryland City Elementary Schools and Arundel Middle School, the new Crofton High School, a new Elementary school in the Two Rivers area, a $100 million renovation to Meade High School, and the replacement and expansion of the Old Mill High School complex.
While serving Anne Arundel schools, Julie also advocated for school systems throughout the state in her position as Legislative Chair with the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE). Julie regularly met with state legislators and testified at hearings on legislation impacting schools. Key legislation that passed during her tenure included Question 1 guaranteeing that casino funds be directed to education and the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (the Kirwan Bill), sweeping legislation for record education investment to bring Maryland schools to world class status.
Julie and Jon have worked to instill a heart of service in their children since they were toddlers. As a family, they regularly participate in community events such as neighborhood clean ups, clothing drives, Toys for Tots, school supply collections, and school makeovers. In the early days of the COVID shutdown, the family ran a food pantry out of their garage, providing weekly food bags to over 1100 families. For the past year, the family has volunteered with Restoration Development Corporation to host a food giveaway in the Maryland City community that serves over 200 families each week.
Julie currently serves as the chair of the Laurel Race Course Impact Fund Advisory Committee. The committee reviews and recommends organizations to receive grants to serve the communities within 3-miles of the Laurel Race Track. Grants totally more than $300,000 awarded this year will target expansion of services for people with disabilities, projects to address food insecurity, completion of an outdoor classroom at Maryland City Elementary, beautification of the Route 198 corridor, and construction of a security wall in the Russett community.
Julie served for several years as a Neighborhood Representative for the Russett Community Association, and she was on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Guild Alliance, a nonprofit organization serving children, families and child-serving organizations through education, behavioral health and national training and consultation services. She is currently an active member of the Meade PTSA and Athletic Boosters. She is a proud sister of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and serves as a Trustee of the national Alpha Xi Delta Foundation. She and Jon are also active volunteers with the BSA (Boy Scouts) and American Heritage Girls (AHG). Three of their four boys are Eagle Scouts, and they are looking forward to the younger two earning their top ranks in the coming years.
Laurel Race Course Impact Fund
Advisory Committee, 2020-present
Children’s Guild Alliance
Board of Directors, 2021
Alpha Xi Delta Foundation
Trustee, 2021 – present
Anne Arundel County Democratic Women
SHERO Award, 2021
Caucus of African American Leaders
Michelle Obama Award, 2020
Anne Arundel County Public Schools Board of Education 2015-2020
President 2017 – 2019
Vice President 2016 – 2017
Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE)
Board of Directors, 2018 – 2020
Legislative Committee, Chairman 2018-2020
Ad Hoc Committee on Equity
Meade High School PTSA, 2019- present
Meade Athletic Boosters, 2020-present
Current/past member of the Glen Burnie HS PTSA, Annapolis HS PTSA, Meade MS PTA, Brooklyn Park MS PTA, Monarch Glen Burnie PTA, Monarch Global Academy PTA, Odenton ES PTA, Four Seasons ES PTA, Nantucket ES PTA
Brock Bridge Elementary PTA
President 2011 – 2015
Cultural Arts Chair
Russett Community Association (RCA)
Neighborhood Representative 2010-2014