TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Over many decades, Northeastern State University alumni have distinguished themselves as great assets to school districts across Oklahoma and beyond, and Julie A. Bloss is another shining example.
Bloss, principal of the Early Childhood Center in Grove, was named the 2012-13 recipient of the Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals Elementary School Principal of the Year award. As recipient, she earns the title National Distinguished Principal for the state of Oklahoma.
"Each year, elementary school principals nominate colleagues for the award," Bloss said. "The application process includes submitting a written portfolio and site visit at the elementary school. Students, faculty members and community members are interviewed during the site visit. Recently, I went to Washington, D.C., to meet with the other 49 national distinguished principals."
The Early Childhood Center (ECC) serves 375 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students of the Grove Public School District. Bloss said she loves the school's "energy" and that staff, students and their families are excited about learning.
"As principal at the ECC, my job involves assuring that we provide our students a developmentally appropriate education while meeting the rigor of the common core state standards," she said. "Our curriculum and teaching methods are deeply rooted in early childhood theory. Our school provides students with hands-on activities that inspire our students to become lifelong learners. The facility itself is very child friendly. But thought the building is fabulous, I always stress that it is the faculty, students and families that make an incredible school."
Bloss has twice received the Sharing the Dream competitive grant, which provides funding for schools to conduct global learning projects, from the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
"In 2011, grant funding enabled us to spend a year learning about our local water system and provided us with science materials," Bloss said. "The global learning aspect allowed us to learn that not all people have clean drinking water. We were able to collect funds to assist a school with getting its own water well."
Prior to serving as a school principal Bloss served as an elementary school teacher and counselor, assistant principal, and been an adjunct instructor for NSU and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. She belongs to several organizations, including the National Education Association, the Oklahoma Education Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She also belongs to the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, the Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. She also serves as a volunteer children’s book editor for the Southern Early Childhood Association.
She attended NSU from 1985-92, earning a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in early childhood education. In 1994 she received a certification in counseling from NSU.
Bloss said her education at NSU provided her with a solid foundation on which to enter school administration.
"I was provided with a strong background in child development and elementary and early childhood education theory," she said. "My coursework in counseling has been extremely beneficial when working with students and their families."
As a school principal, Bloss has extensive experience writing grant requests. In her spare time, she puts that knowledge to work for the City of Grove and its police department.
"I embrace the idea of helping non-profit organizations to receive much-needed funding and supplies," she said. "When I was informed of items that the police department needed, I was glad to assist. I have helped the City of Grove with a DARE grant and assisted the police in receiving weapons, vests and additional officers."
Though Bloss has been an NSU alumna for many years, she is still in contact with a number of her professors, and she is appreciative of her Northeastern education.
"I still ask my instructors' advice or insight for school related projects," Bloss said. "When my school was being built I was so glad that a team of instructors served as consultants. When my school opened, my NSU instructors attended the grand opening. The teaching staff at NSU is truly committed to collaboration and the success of its graduates."
Published: 11/26/2012 9:37:22 AM