PA Cyber
A woman stands with two high school students.

PA Cyber Curriculum Coordinator Receives Award from Beaver Students

Jennie Harris

This spring, Curriculum Coordinator Julia Grise began a workday at PA Cyber as usual but soon saw staff and students from the school she previously worked at, Beaver Area School District (BASD). She wondered why folks from Beaver were in the same building where she now worked. Then she realized they were there for her!

“The last thing I expected was to see Beaver staff and students in PA Cyber buildings,” she said.

Sean Snowden, Beaver’s high school principal, explained that this year the school district’s seniors were invited to honor a teacher who helped them reach graduation. Julia had taught Algebra at BASD before becoming a high school mathematics curriculum coordinator at PA Cyber one year ago.

Two of Julia’s former students, Aubree and Noah, presented her with gifts and spoke about how she had helped them through math, a subject they had struggled with before taking her class.

“I chose you [for this recognition] because I struggled to get a B in math,” Noah said to her. “I would be sitting at the kitchen table until 9 o’clock at night. When I had your class, I breezed right through it. You were so nice to me and helped me get on the right track.”

Julia was moved to tears and she hugged both students. She had taught them Algebra I, primarily online during the pandemic, and then Algebra II during a more traditional school year. She eased the students’ anxiety about math and showed them they had the skills they needed to succeed.

“It helped me realize that I did make a difference,” she said. “Sometimes you don’t realize it until something like this happens.”

“Julia had a tremendous impact on many students at Beaver,” said Principal Snowden. “We certainly miss her, but we knew she wanted to go on to different endeavors. I had a lot of good things to say about PA Cyber, and the job opportunity was a role that fit her well.” He was previously PA Cyber’s high school principal for grades 11-12 before becoming Beaver’s high school principal.

Three adults stand together, two men and a woman.
From left to right: Principal Jay Barris (grades 11-12), Curriculum Coordinator Julia Grise, and Beaver's High School Principal Sean Snowden

Julia feels she has the exact career that she wants for herself at the present. She has a doctorate as well as supervision of curriculum and instruction papers. “I love our curriculum team. Everybody works so well together. It really has been a dream come true.”

In the summer she is a mathematics instructor at Robert Morris University, specifically for Koppers Inc. employees attending a business degree program. Her goal is to become a college professor one day.

Outside of the office and virtual classroom, Julia enjoys family time with her husband, Brian, and two sons, Bennett and Gino. She can be found fishing and camping, and simply embracing life as a “boy mom.”

No matter what she achieves at PA Cyber and beyond, she’ll always be a Beaver Bobcat.

A man, woman, and two young sons. The young ones are holding balloons.
Julia with her family
The T-shirt has "Grise" and has a bobcat footprint on it.

Students surprised her with thank you cards, a T-shirt, and flowers.