Bridge Street Middle School music teacher Julie Schultz has found 100,000 ways to make her school a better place for its students.
As of this week, Schultz has secured $100,000 in grant funding for Bridge Street. Her efforts have resulted in funding for chorus, general music, theatre, the Leo CLub, the school pantry and the upcoming Innovation MakerSpace. Schultz has done grant writing since 2011, and she has earned grants from the Fender Music Foundation, McDonald’s MAC Grant, Williams Energy and DonorsChoose.org.
Schultz was hired in 2010 as a music teacher at Bridge Street Middle School. Her entire teaching career has been spent there, and she has no plans to ever teach elsewhere.
“I’ve poured my heart into this building, and it will be the building I retire from,” Schultz said. “So many great things have happened to me here, I couldn’t imagine teaching at another school. When we get new staff members, I speak to them to let them know how I feel about Bridge Street Middle School, and I always hope it means as much to them as it means to me. I try to help them to have the same feeling about Bridge Street that I do.”
Schultz has a strategy when it comes to securing grant funding. She makes sure to have at least three grants applications active or in process at all times. In 2015, grant funding she secured was used to create a piano lab for the school. However, her efforts extend beyond her own music classes, and the goal is to benefit all Bridge Street students.
“I’m always searching for new ways to help the school,” Schultz said. “The first grant that I received was for $112, and I was ecstatic. I’ve assisted other teachers with grant writing. I worked on the grant for the outdoor classroom and most recently with the MakerSpace. I want to continue to create exciting hands-on learning environments for our students. You don’t get every grant that you apply for, but it’s important to try. My motto is shoot for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”
Schultz’ students on Thursday said they appreciate all the work their teacher does on their behalf. They said they consider her a role model, and they know she truly cares for her students.
“She’s amazing,” said eighth grader McKenna Dei. “Mrs. Schultz is always there for us. She works for us every second of the day.”
“She helped me realize my full potential,” added eighth grader Joseph Farmer.
Photo: Pictured from left with Bridge Street Middle School Teacher Julie Schultz are eighth-grade students Melody Jennings, McKenna Dei, Nathan Bittinger and Joseph Farmer.