Chandler woman new QC High principal SanTan Sun News

Chandler woman new QC High principal

August 6th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
Chandler woman new QC High principal
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By COLLEEN SPARKS

Managing Editor

A Chandler woman is thrilled to be working in her new role as principal on a campus where she already has made many contributions.

Julie Oster began the school year as principal at Queen Creek High School. Many years ago, she first worked at Queen Creek High as an intern while a student at Arizona State University.

Oster has worked in the Queen Creek Unified School District for 19 years as a history teacher, guidance counselor, dean of students and assistant principal at Queen Creek High.

A principal at Queen Creek Elementary School for the past two years, Oster, 40, also has coached girls and boys varsity track and cross country teams and varsity softball at the high school.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “It’s nice. There’s a lot of faces that I’ve known for a long time, but then there’s so many new faces. I’ve been a part of it since it’s evolved. It’s incredible to be a part of the process and having worked in so many different capacities it’s this new challenge that I can barely sleep at night I’m so excited.”

When she began working at Queen Creek High, there were about 400 students. This year ,the campus is approaching and enrollment of 2,400.

She replaced Paul Gagnon, who was named planning principal of QCUSD High School No. 2, which is under construction in Eastmark, a growing community in east Mesa.

“I think that Mr. Gagnon did such a spectacular job,” Oster said. “We’re an A-rated school. I think he did so many wonderful things and I am excited to continue with those. He set the bar of excellence so high. I’m most excited about getting to know the kids.”

She said she is excited the high school is going to get involved in a Rachel’s Challenge program this academic year. Rachel’s Challenge is a nonprofit organization named after Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shootings in 1999.

After her death, many students told Scott’s family stories about the big impact her kindness had on their lives.

The organization aims to awaken “individual transformation” and promote “safer, more connected schools” with programs that teach kindness and respect, according to its website.

Oster said Queen Creek assistant principal Jennifer Ray and English teacher and student council advisor Jen Holland came up with the idea for the school to incorporate Rachel’s Challenge.

“I was the cheerleader,” Oster said. “I’m super-excited about it.”

Holland expressed enthusiasm about Oster working in the lead role at the school. She has known Oster for nine years, back to when Oster was a counselor.

“She is amazing to work with because she knows our community,” Holland said. “She knows our clientele. She knows what’s important to the teachers here and to our parents and students. She’s great to work with. She’s very student-centered and is always putting the needs of the students first. She’s really good at getting to the bottom of what are they really saying, what do they need.”

Besides having a “more unique view of the student” because of her counseling background, Oster is also a “great administrator,” Holland said.

“She is an administrator who is not afraid to make decisions and she really sticks up or backs up the decisions she makes,” she said. “She’s one of those administrators where you always know what to expect from her, and that is really comforting for staff and students. It’s really nice to have an administrator that comes from a family of educators. It’s sort of like ingrained in her.”

Oster’s late father, Steve Adolph, was a history teacher and then superintendent for the Tempe Union High School District before retiring. He died in 2016 and at the time of his death was an assistant superintendent in the Coolidge Unified School District.

Oster’s mother, Renee Adolph had taught special education in elementary and junior high schools and worked as a counselor in Mesa Public Schools.

Oster lives in a neighborhood where her mother and brother also live with her two children, Jaclyn, an eighth-grader at Queen Creek Middle School, and her son, Hunter, a sixth-grader at Newell Barney Middle School.

Growing up, Oster said she took aptitude tests because of her mother’s work and she knew she would go to college. She thought about being a lawyer, then a doctor and later a veterinarian before going to Arizona State University and finding her passion – teaching.

Oster volunteered as a camp counselor for a few summers with her mother and said she loves the connections she makes with students.

“Education just found me,” she said. “It just runs in my blood. I can’t imagine doing anything different. I’m one of the few that I wake up every day; I am so excited to go to work. I can’t say too many of my friends feel that same way about their jobs.”

Oster has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in history from ASU, a master’s degree in school counseling from Ottawa University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Grand Canyon University.

Superintendent Perry Berry praised Oster.

“Many people within our community will know Ms. Oster from her years of service devoted to our District in varied capacities at Queen Creek High School and Queen Creek Elementary,” Berry said. “We are excited to have Julie lead a school that she knows so well.”

Information: qchs.qcusd.org.

Tiffanie Sechrist

New Queen Creek High principal Julie Oster of Chandler also coached several different student teams.

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