Beloved Holly Academy Director Julie Kildee Retires with Surprises from Students and Staff
(Liam Feeney, June 29, 2022)
Holly, MI -There is a saying that “not all heroes wear capes” and that couldn’t be more true then when referring to Juile Kildee. Serving as the Director of Holly Academy over the last twenty years she has left her mark on both faculty and students alike throughout her career. From her leadership to her kindness it is clear she has made an impact that goes beyond just the classroom.
This past month it was announced Kildee was retiring, so to honor her legacy there was a special celebration held by those who direct the school itself as well as faculty and students alike from Holly Academy.
“I started out as the curriculum director,” Kildee said in an interview with Oakland County Times, “but after a few years of that I took on the role of Director of the school itself.”
Her years spent as a director of Holly Academy is where her talents as a leader really shined through. In her tenure the school not only received numerous awards, such as being named Charter School Administrator of the Year in 2012 by Michigan Association of Public School Academies. Holly Academy also became a Central Michigan University School of Excellence, being used as an example for what other schools should look like.
“It was a great honor to receive that for the school,” Kildee said, “all of us at Holly Academy are very proud of that accomplishment.”
It’s not just the students that have greatly benefited from her leadership. Teachers and others on staff value her as a boss as well.
“Her leadership day to day was so inspiring,” said Mrs. Kovatch, the current curriculum director, “She has a certain level of expectation and she leads by example. It starts where she permeates down to the students. But she also listens to us and has an open door policy with any issues. She would really look at the problem as a whole and try to figure out what would be the best solution.”
“One thing about her that I think makes her so great is how good of a friend she is, as well as a leader,” Mrs. Burns, another member of the faculty said. “She has pushed multiple other teachers and staff members to be the best they can be. We have had two teachers leave here to become directors at other schools. I personally have moved up while working here at Holly Academy because of her ability to guide and push us to be our best.”
With her large impact on those in the school it is no wonder that when she announced her retirement those in charge of the school decided to celebrate her accomplishments.
Burns described the heartfelt sendoff. “We held a breakfast and then all the kids and staff surprised her outside on our steps. There she was honored with some more awards from CMU, a special performance by our marching band, as well as some speeches commemorating her dedication and achievements.”
The celebration was held at the beginning of the month and featured a wide range of guests as members of the CMU board for the school also showed up to celebrate. Staff and students alike gave her cards and other gifts to celebrate the accomplishment.
“It was a really special moment and I am so thankful to have impacted so many people’s lives” she said. Learn more about Holly Academy at https://www.hollyacademy.org/