By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
'Two Julies' are jewels at Brooklet
Elementary school faculty, students love math, reading teachers
two julies
Julie Chambers, left, and Julie NeSmith are known as the "Two Julies" at Brooklet Elementary School. They are shown with school principal Marlin Baker. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    Every school in the Bulloch County Public School system has intervention specialists, but only Brooklet Elementary School has “the Two Julies” — Julie NeSmith and Julie Chambers. According to Brooklet principal Marlin Baker, “The faculty here at BES considers the 'Two Julies' to be extremely important to the success of our school.”
    He added, “Both of these ladies care very deeply about what they do, and are willing to go to any lengths to ensure the success of their students. On top of that, it's easy to see how much their kids love and respect them. A major reason for their success in the classroom is that their students work very hard in order to please them.”
    Julie NeSmith is married to Billy NeSmith, and she has taught math at Brooklet (the old junior high and then the elementary) for 30 years. Their oldest son Blake teaches math in Bryan County, while two daughters Jennifer and Whitney are enrolled at Ogeechee Technical College.
    Julie Chambers is married to Jim Chambers, and has been teaching reading for 22 years, the first 13 in Claxton and then the last nine at Brooklet. Their oldest son, David, is at Southeast Bulloch High, her middle son, Patrick, is at Southeast Bulloch Middle, and her youngest, Michael, is at Brooklet.
    NeSmith said, “We really work hard to establish a rapport with our student's parents. Quite often, the parents don't understand the work the child is given.”
    Therefore, they schedule “Parent Nights,” at which time both students and parents go over some of the math and reading homework with the teacher and see how it can best be done.
    Both teachers said the students' short attention spans is a challenge all day long. By using individual and team-based game playing they are able to keep their students' interest for a much longer time than if they were seated by themselves. Both teachers use rewards for daily and weekly accomplishments.
    Chambers and NeSmith go to great lengths to praise each student in front of  fellow students for a job well done. They know that these students have to work really hard to succeed, and really appreciate their achievements being acknowledged, especially when their success in announced in their homeroom class.
    Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning (K-5) Fran Johnson said, “The 'Two Julies' at BES are largely responsible for the success of students at BES. They have worked very hard to ensure that their transition program is consistently one of the top intervention programs in the BCPS.”
    The 'Two Julies' agree that their greatest reward is seeing students who have been struggling get so excited about their progress that their friends (many of whom are also having difficulty in those subjects) can't help but see the change in them, that they ask to be put into the program so that they can get better in those subjects, too.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter