Passion, determination and a love for education – these essential attributes are brought to mind when the name ‘Julie Haff’ enters the conversation. After 35 years of heading the school district, Julie Haff is now retiring as superintendent, leaving the school with a sense of hope for the future as well as sorrow at this loss of a great leader.
Mrs. Haff has been working in the district since 1978- around 35 years prior to where the school stands now. Since then, she’s had a substantial impact on our school and our district, her rise to the top as inspirational as her leadership skills.
She started off teaching 1st, 2nd and 6th grade classes at Quail Hollow, Redwood Elementary and Boulder Creek Elementary. In 1996, as many of us current students were just emerging into the world, she became principal of BCE. After that, she became Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Personnel at the district office in 2001, finally selected as Superintendent of SLVUSD one year after. During her time as superintendent of SLVUSD she was named Educator of the Year in 2010 and Administrator of the Year in 2013.
Throughout her career, Julie Haff offered a strong support system to our students and our school. She has not only supported many school projects such as the watershed project and construction of the Library, classroom wings and playgrounds, but was also present when our district was going through difficult times financially during the closure of two elementary schools. Not only was she present, but she was also an active leader, helping to guide the district through those rocky times.
Since her start here, Julie Haff has made an impact on students and faculty alike. Vice Principle Keri Billings has known Mrs. Haff for around thirty years, working in close proximity to her as well as knowing her personally through family connections. As Ms. Billings stated, “I am saddened for our district in that she led our schools with such strength, compassion and foresight that it will be a monumental task to replace her.” She adds candidly, “I believe that people rest easier knowing Julie is leading the way. We trust her to take care of our schools, staff, parents and students.”
Julie Haff also made a large impact on teacher and baseball coach Ross Parmenter. He had known her since a young age, working with her on various projects involving the baseball field. Mr. Parmenter acknowledges, “To be able to commit to one school district for the duration of her career says a lot about her. She genuinely cares for the students and this school district. Her shoes will be very hard to fill.”
Guidance counselor Noreen Nolen shares similar views on her leadership skills and the impact she’s left on our school. She declares, “She has always been a great advocate for challenging our students to the best they can be. I think she will be greatly missed. She’s both personable and visionary and has made a huge difference. She’s really leaving a big legacy.” Her job will be a tough one to fill seeing as through all the years she has worked in the district, Mrs. Haff has accomplished so much. We can only hope that current staff members will uphold her vision and pass it on through the decades to continue improving our school.
As far as her retirement goes, I think most of us here at SLV can agree that we are happy for her, though not happy to see her go. There’s no doubt in my mind that Julie Haff will be greatly missed by faculty and student body alike, but we here at the Claw wish her the best of luck on starting this new chapter of her life.