I was born in Champaign, Illinois, which is the central part of the state. Shortly afterwards, my family moved to Pekin, Illinois. Pekin, Illinois is a small town close to Peoria, and along the Illinois River. I have always loved school, since I was a child. I also loved music, and I was active in music groups, singing, playing the piano and in symphonies, playing violin and viola.
My first degree was from the University of Illinois, in music education. Then I got a masters degree in Gifted Education from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. I earned my principal and superintendent licenses from Winona State University. Finally, I earned my Doctor of Education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. My dissertation was about organizational change, and the leadership traits found in leaders of Baldrige Award winning institutions and companies, as compared through the Kouzes and Posner Leadership Scale.
My career has led me to many opportunities, including:
Some highlights of my career are:
My family is important to me. My husband, Brian, and I have five adult children and eight grandchildren. We live on a lake, and we enjoy our time there, with family and friends. My parents still live in Illinois. They were both in education, and they instilled in me the belief that public education is the great equalizer in our society.
I am so fortunate to have landed in Princeton, where the community supports their children and teachers are committed continued excellence. Since I have been in Princeton, I have seen that support by the passage of a bond referendum which will set up our district for the future. Our teachers and staff are courageously working on our instructional model, and we have already seen some rewards of the work that they have tackled, by improving student achievement. We have a new five year Strategic Plan, which is setting the course for our work. Life is good in Princeton, Minnesota, where we show Tiger Pride AND Princeton Pride!
Julia A. Espe, Ed.D.
Proud Superintendent of Princeton Public Schools
Dr. Julia Espe
Princeton Public Schools