Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) has selected former Lakeville North High School Principal Julia Espe as the 2007 Technical Education Advocacy Award winner.
Espe has been a major advocate for promoting DCTC’s nanotechnology program, as well as the college as a whole. Her deep passion for career and technical education comes through not only in the work she does for DCTC, but across all realms of education.
Espe first began working with DCTC while serving as the principal for Lakeville North High School. At Lakeville North, she advanced the idea of career portfolios and career curriculum, including job shadowing, investigations, tours, and other experiences. Her work led her to be invited as part of the DCTC Strategic Long Range Planning Board and the National Science Foundation Grant Board: Nanotechnology (Lakeville High School, Dakota County Technical College, and the University of Minnesota). As part of these two groups, Espe has been able to promote technical education in the public school systems, foster relationships in the community, and develop the Nanoscience Technology program that DCTC has in partnership with the University of Minnesota.
Currently, Espe serves as the executive director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for St. Cloud Area School District 742. She has served as the curriculum facilitator for Austin Public Schools and Cedar River Cooperative; K-12 coordinator of gifted and talented for Rochester Public Schools; principal at Austin High School; instructor of graduate classes at Winona State University, the University of Minnesota and Hamline University; educational consultant for gifted education throughout the five-state area; and as a teacher in music and gifted education in a number of districts.
In her community, Espe has been part of Rotary Club, Leadership Lakeville, Lakeville Chamber Education Board, Fairview Hospital Board of Trustees, the Dakota County School to Work Board, and many other organizations. She serves as chair of the Tri-County School to Work Governing Board, is co-founder of Math Masters of Minnesota, was the first state president of the Minnesota Educators for Gifted and Talented, and serves in a variety of capacities for many other organizations.
Espe has been recognized as a distinguished educator by Austin Public Schools, was a Paul Harris Fellow, and has been the recipient of numerous state and federal grants. She is currently in the process of completing the Educational Doctoral program at the University of Saint Mary’s. She holds a Sixth-Year Certificate in education administration from Winona State University, a master of arts in education from the College of St. Thomas, and a bachelor’s in education from the University of Illinois.
DCTC recognized Espe during its commencement ceremony held May 11.