Getting to Know You: Julia Manners
Julia Manners was a new face to LIHSA when she started this fall as a Teacher’s Aide and Substitute Teacher but has quickly become a treasured member of our staff. Here’s a little about her.
Julia grew up in Orange County, California. The arts were an integral part of her upbringing. She began singing in the choir at age 13 and started performing in theatrical productions by the time she was 15.
One of her most memorable theatrical productions occurred when attended a youth conference at age 18 and her theater group was asked to perform their production of “The Day After” in front of the conference audience of 5,000. She had performed for audiences of up to 3,000 over a run of a production, but never such a large audience at once. Julia described performing for that size crowd as, “It was like overeating pizza and then someone put sardines on it but you can’t show it in your face and let the audience know.” The show was filmed and aired on an educational program to boot. “It was a wonderful experience,” Julia recalled.
In addition to theater, Julia also performed with the Bellflower Singing Group throughout California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in education and child development from Cal State in Fullerton, Julia went to Taiwan for a year to teach ESL. “It was one of the best experiences in my life!” When she returned to California, she taught second grade before she was presented with another opportunity to return to Taiwan for a year to serve as the Director of Admissions for a business school.
Upon return to the US, she got married and moved to New York. After a brief time in Brooklyn, the family moved to Long Island, about 18 years ago. She loves Long Island, “It’s home. It’s so beautiful here.” For a California native, the winters are cold but nevertheless Julia says, “I love the seasons!”
In her role at LIHSA she applies all her training and experience teaching every day. She helps prep students for the required tests and really enjoys watching their growth as they get ready. She works regularly with music students which leans on her musical background, as well as video game students which is giving her new experiences. “As a parent of a 16-year-old, it helps me understand him better.”
Julia visits family in California once a year but is always happy to return home to New York. When she’s not at LIHSA, she loves to read, work with plants, and also help plan wedding decorations as a consultant. Being at LIHSA reminds her how joyful music is and she’s considering joining a local choir. “Music brings out the happy side of me,” she says.
About her job, Julia shares that it’s a dream job. “Everything I love is combined into one and every day is a happy day when I’m here. It’s like being around all your favorite students and teachers at the same time. Every day is a gift.”
Thank you for bringing your gifts to LIHSA, Julia!