Sometimes you cross paths with a person in life and forever your life is enriched. For me, the 11 years I have been able to spend working with Julie Keegan has done exactly that. I will always be grateful for my association with Julie and her family. After serving on the Worthington Board of Education for the past 12 years, tonight marks Julie’s final board meeting.
Jerry Katz graduated from Worthington High School in 1958. He married Merci, became a banker, bought a house in Columbus and eventually had two daughters, Julie and Nicole. In 1978 they moved back home to Worthington. Julie enrolled in Colonial Hills Elementary, transitioned to Worthingway Middle School and graduated from Worthington High School in 1985.
At Worthington High School Julie Katz met Mike Keegan. They eventually married, moved to Virginia, and started their family. Worthington called them home. Their children; Josh, Casey, Quinn and Layne all graduated from Thomas Worthington High School. Thus, they became the third generation of Worthington graduates from this family.
In 2007, Julie Keegan ran for election to the Worthington Board of Education. She began her term in January 2008. As a Board of Education member, Julie served tirelessly. She knows Worthington Schools inside and out. Julie supported tough decisions to right-size the district budget when enrollment was declining and she was part of passing successful operating levies and bond issues in 2009, 2012 and 2018. Julie served as President of the Board of Education for multiple terms. She’s spoken at commencement and handed out student diplomas. Julie helped negotiate union contracts, she supported the creation of Worthington Academy and multiple updates to school safety. She constantly pushed for us to be more efficient and effective in our operations, and she was always confident in sharing her perspective. If you know Julie, you know that she’s honest, upfront, and never afraid.
As a community member, Julie volunteered for years at Slate Hill Elementary. She’s mentored a family who has immigrated to the U.S. and resides in Worthington Schools. She’s been a booster club parent in soccer, swimming, cross country and volleyball. She’s run the Gary Smith, been in numerous Worthington parades and has been the secret admirer of retired Worthington teacher Mr. Jim VanArsdale.
I’ve learned a lot from Julie. Just last week, with only a few days left in her term, and with a thousand outside things going on, Julie showed up for several different evening meetings to represent the board when she didn’t have to. She’s been a tireless supporter of Worthington Schools. She leaves Worthington Schools a better place than when she arrived.
Julie Keegan has devoted a significant portion of her life to Worthington Schools. She’ll always be a Worthington Cardinal and as she turns over her seat on the Board of Education to Amy Lloyd, I can say from a grateful Worthington community, thank you for your service!
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent