JULIE NATHAN RETIREMENT REFLECTIONS
WC’s Julie Nathan is set to retire at the end of this school year. Nathan’s work at WC actually began as the Director of Development in 2004. After building this department at WC for several years, the opportunity came about for her to begin teaching music and take charge of the band program at WC. When she moved into this role, there were only six students in the grades 9-12 band. Since then, the grades 9-12 program has grown to 60 students, adding pep and jazz bands for the first time in many years. She has also led students in joining honors bands at local universities and taking part in local competitions. For the 2020-21 school year, she has worked as an Instrumental Music Assistant in a part-time capacity.
How has your teaching career at WC impacted you? “Coming from a family of teachers and band directors, I have always wanted to teach. After finishing my degree at The Ohio State University, the doors just never opened for me to teach. I worked many other jobs including running a gymnastics gym, working for realtors, and teaching private flute lessons. After years of various jobs, I thought that I would never get the chance to teach in a classroom or become a band director. When God finally opened the doors for me to become WC’s band director and take on my first teaching experience, I was 50 years old. Teaching here has been the career that I always wanted.”
How have you changed over the course of your career? “Becoming a band director has caused me to grow a lot and gain confidence. Prior to this role, I had never been in charge of such a complex entity. I have learned to have a greater dependence on the LORD and to trust Him no matter what the situation is. He gives us the ability to do hard things. Raising my own two children and learning from them in each stage of their development also changed me as an educator. I feel that I have become more understanding and patient through that process.”
What are you going to miss about WC? “The kids! Being a band director here has allowed me to essentially work with the same group of students for seven years, starting with their time in middle school band up through graduation. I have watched them grow up and develop into wonderful people. I always have tears at the last concert of each year for the seniors I have come to love as they move into the next season of their lives. I’m also going to miss the music staff at WC. We have grown so close and worked hard to support each other both personally and in our department. Battling breast cancer during my third year of teaching was incredibly difficult, but this staff was supportive and loving all along the way. This is a quality unique to WC.”
What is something you hope to leave as a lasting legacy? “I hope to be remembered as someone who really cared about students and music. I hope that my students–even those who do not continue in music after graduation–remember the talks we’ve had about faith and see music as a gift from God.”
What do you plan to do in retirement? “I have two grandchildren on the way, coming this fall. I want to be there to enjoy them. I also plan to help my daughter Nikki Veneziano (WC ’08) with her growing business.”