Our latest Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is Julie McNeill of Southern Lee High School. Ms. McNeill is a Business & Marketing teacher and serves as director of the highly acclaimed and much awarded Academy of Hospitality & Tourism at Southern Lee. Ms. McNeill is a dedicated alumna of East Carolina University, where she holds a Master’s Degree in Business Education and Bachelor’s Degree in Business & Marketing Education.
The academy is incorporated into the school’s general curriculum and provides students a wide range of experiences and skills in areas such as customer service, event planning, sustainable tourism, finance, and public speaking. Throughout the four years of honors courses, students are exposed to a multitude of experiences ranging from developing and running events, participating in community service, presenting final projects to local business leaders, and so much more. In the 2018 and 2019 school years, Southern’s academy achieved Distinguished status — the highest level recognized by the NAF Network. As director, Ms. McNeill teaches in the classroom while coordinating professional work-based learning opportunities for her academy students. You can learn more about the school’s NAF Hospitality & Tourism Academy by visiting their website.
Ms. McNeill has also been an active participant in Southern Lee’s DECA (Distributive Education Club of America) chapter. This competitive marketing club helps prepare young leaders and entrepreneurs in areas such as marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Under Ms. McNeill’s guidance, the Southern Lee club has grown to become one of the largest and successful chapters in the state.
Ms. NcNeill was also recognized as Southern Lee’s Teacher of the Year for the 2016-17 school year. This quote from Elanor Roosevelt sums up her positive, proactive approach … “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”