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Employee of the Year winner Julie Collins

Julie+Collins+works+at+her+desk+in+the+media+center+during+first+lunch.+Collins+was+announced+Non-Instructional+Employee+of+the+Year+on+Oct.+2.+%22I+would+never+imagine+that+I+would+be+employee+of+the+year%2C%22+Julie+Collins+said.+%22It+was+a+lovely+surprise+and+it%E2%80%99s+an+honor+to+be+nominated+and+appreciated+by+your+peers.%22
Julie Collins works at her desk in the media center during first lunch. Collins was announced Non-Instructional Employee of the Year on Oct. 2.

Julie Collins works at her desk in the media center during first lunch. Collins was announced Non-Instructional Employee of the Year on Oct. 2. "I would never imagine that I would be employee of the year," Julie Collins said. "It was a lovely surprise and it’s an honor to be nominated and appreciated by your peers."

Photo provided by: Joelle Wittig

Photo provided by: Joelle Wittig

Julie Collins works at her desk in the media center during first lunch. Collins was announced Non-Instructional Employee of the Year on Oct. 2. "I would never imagine that I would be employee of the year," Julie Collins said. "It was a lovely surprise and it’s an honor to be nominated and appreciated by your peers."

Joelle Wittig, Staff Reporter

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After being nominated and voted for by her peers, ESE (Exceptional Student Education) secretary Julie Collins was announced Non-Instructional Employee of the Year. Collins, who considers herself a “jack of all trades” around the school, was recognized on Oct. 2 for her outstanding commitment to the school. She was called into what she thought was an ESE meeting but instead received the award and was surprised by her husband, sons, sister, and best friend.

In addition to being the ESE secretary, Collins schedules meetings for the MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) team and is responsible for the paperwork of students with IEPs (Individualized Education Program), 504 educational plans, and students who are involved in the gifted program. Collins’ focus is to emphasize equal opportunity through her role.

“I have a genuine concern for our students with special needs,” Collins said. “Both of my sons have special needs so it’s important for me to be able to continue to help the student population and show them that they can be successful in life.”

Before working at Brantley, Collins worked at Annunciation Catholic Academy and Pace Brantley Hall School. Collins has worked on campus for twelve years and has held her current position for eight. Despite this being her first year with this specific award, this was not the first time Collins has been recognized for her hard work. A few years ago she received the Jefferson Award for her work with the school and community.  Collins is known for taking things seriously and pushing past obstacles, making her a reliable part of the staff.

“Our department could not function without Julie,” department head for the ESE program Katie Tomlinson said. “She is our backbone and keeps us in check. Her organization and quick response time is amazing. We are so lucky to have her.”

Collins founded the Prom Dress Program, which allows people to donate new or slightly used prom dresses for students to borrow. She began this program with the mindset of helping people who could not afford dresses, and students are now able to attend prom in the proper attire thanks to the help of Collins. Collins goes above and beyond her job description by helping in as many areas as she can around the school.

“[The people who nominated Collins] feel like she has a global knowledge of things that happen at the school,” Juliene McDonald said. “So she’s a great resource, she knows technology, she knows processes, she’s done a little bit of everything so she always has that insider knowledge.”

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Employee of the Year winner Julie Collins