By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
Julia Robinson, the current director of curriculum for Commerce Independent School District, will step down to take a position as director of curriculum with the Royse City Independent School District, starting in July.
Robinson, who has spent the past 18 years at various positions in Commerce ISD, including serving as interim high school principal this year, announced her resignation via email to Commerce ISD faculty and staff.
“You, the teachers and staff of Commerce ISD have been a light in my world,” she wrote. “Each morning, I have been blessed to count myself among the greatest teachers, staff, and people that I know – people who love children as much as I do and find joy in teaching every day.”
Robinson said the decision came only after much prayer and thought as to how she wants to continue being a better mother and wife to her husband and children.
According to Robinson, Commerce ISD is in good hands with the current School Board of Trustees and Superintendent Blake Cooper.
“You have Mr. Cooper — and he loves kids. It has been a joy to work for him,” she wrote. “When you ask a question and you know the answer will be ‘Whatever is best for the students’ – then you know you have found a true champion for kids. Mr. Cooper is indeed that. From the top of the organizational chart to the bottom, the staff of Commerce ISD cares about kids. I am confident that I am leaving the district in the best of hands.”
With Commerce being a small school district, Cooper said many of the teachers and staff are cross trained because the district doesn’t have the funding that larger districts have.
“I’m happy for her, but disappointed in our loss,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for her not to have to wear as many hats.”
Robinson recently made a heartfelt speech during the Commerce Assembly Awards Banquet on May 13, foreshadowing her recent decision to step down.
Robinson taught many of the current seniors when she served as principal of A.C. Williams Elementary school more than 10 years ago, which she said was her favorite time spent with the district.
“What an honor it has been to see them become the grown men and women they are today,” she said at the event.
One of Robinson’s greatest achievements she said was being apart of the planning and construction of the new A.C. Williams Elementary.
“I got to be involved with how it was built,” she said. “We revolved it around the library because I love to read.”
During her tenure at A.C. Williams, Robinson was instrumental in bringing many of the grants teachers and faculty are enjoying today.
“I loved taking kids to Austin every year,” she said. “It brought something real to their learning. Our seniors this year still remember those field trips.”
Robinson also instituted a different theme of learning every year, including a NASA-themed year. Robinson said she wanted to create a climate where children wanted to learn in.
“Kids should run to school and drag home,” she said.
Robinson listed a series of figurative torches she wishes the school to carry on after her departure.
“As we move into the unknown and unimagined territory of the new millennium, we will all need torches, in the figurative sense, to help us find our way and to light the way for our students as well,” she wrote, adding that the school will carry on the torches of hope, imagination, efficacy, respect and connectedness, which she said will prepare students on their journey through life. “Although we will not travel that full journey with them, we can be assured that we have done our best to prepare them for what lies ahead.”
Robinson thanked the students, faculty and staff of Commerce ISD, and said she will never have another opportunity to serve teachers, students and staff like those at CISD again.
“Thank you for making a huge difference in my life and in the lives of our children every day,” she wrote. “Continue to carry the torch of learning everywhere you go.”
The school board will be searching for a new principal for the high school and a new director of curriculum during the summer months.
A reception will be held in Robinson’s honor at the Central Administration Building on May 30 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to come.