New OAP teacher former NYC model, actress

By TIFFANY PRESTRIDGE Reporter Contributor

Along with the fresh new paint on the walls of Rockdale High School there are some fresh new faces in the halls. One of those happens to be east Texas native, Julia Alford.

Alford Alford Alford joins the RHS staff, teaching sophomore English, freshman MAPS (Mapping Academic and Personal Success) and One-Act Play. MAPS is a new class in RISD geared at teaching freshman and sophomore students how to get the most from their education by planning, organizing and adapting their learning style to the classroom.

Alford is a graduate of Groveton High School where she participated in many activities. In athletics she played basketball and volleyball. She ran track and was a varsity cheerleader. Alford was in FFA as a 4-H Sweetheart, student council, choir, Theatre Arts, and the Beta Club (which is the equivalent of the National Honor Society).

After her successful high school career, she went on to Baylor University where she earned a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance. Her passion for theatre took her to New York City where she worked as an actress and a model. She has done work on PBS and been in some off- Broadway plays, but her love of kids and her passion to share theatre with students brought her back to Texas where she became certified to teach Theatre Arts EC-12 and English 8-12.

This is A lford's third year teaching. She has taught theatre and speech in Hemphill and Livingston, but she was looking for a small town school to become part of.

"I love the sense of family that is built at school," Alford said. Teaching is a good fit for Alford- who really enjoys the field of education. So far her biggest challenge has been "realizing that every student doesn't just love school."

For Alford, the most important lesson to pass on is the fact that "you only get out of your education what you put into it." She tries each day to inspire her students to use education as a tool to pursue their dreams. Her outgoing personality definitely makes her a positive role model and watching her participate in Friday pep rallies shows her ability to balance serious and silly in a fun way that will get the attention of her students.

Alford is the daughter of James and Billie Alford of Groveton. She has two sisters, Shandy Stewart and Jamie Alford. She currently resides in College Station and is happy to be cheering for the blue and gold.

"I love the administration at Rockdale High School. I like the atmosphere, it reminds me of home," Alford said. She lives by the famed words of Aristotle:

"We are what we repeatedly do," and in this case, it seems that Alford repeatedly finds a way to be unique, upbeat and successful. Hopefully she will be a part of the RHS make-over that sticks around for many years.

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