Return to Headlines

2023-24 Above & Beyond Awards recipient: Julia Stock

Julia Stock“Julia's heart for her students is her biggest strength. She’s an excellent communicator, an innovator and goes out of her way to spend hours creating magical experiences for our kids.” - Kate Hale, parent of a Brookside student.

Julia Stock’s commitment to engaging and caring for her students prompted two parents to nominate her for an Above & Beyond Award. Common themes in the nominations for Stock, a second grade teacher at Brookside Elementary School, were engagement, trust and community.

“Increasing student engagement while building community within the classroom is a passion of mine,” Stock said. “The time and energy spent cultivating an environment where students feel safe to take risks, make mistakes and become empowered tiny humans always pays off.”

One of Stock’s favorite things to do in her classroom is room transformations to “make learning engaging and exciting to even the most reluctant student.” By engaging students she also allows space for them to take ownership in their learning. Stock celebrates making mistakes, which is fortified by a classroom mantra — “mistakes are proof you are trying.”

Stock has taught in Anoka-Hennepin schools for 20 years with previous stops at McKinley and Ramsey elementary schools. She was a first-grade teacher until she switched to second grade in 2023-24, which created a unique opportunity for her to teach a lot of the same students as the year before, strengthening the classroom community she had built.

“Our son truly feels that he has a teacher who cares and can be trusted to support unique learning needs or behaviors,” said Angela Hansen, a Brookside parent who also nominated Stock.

Community building is vital and Stock makes sure the families of her students are involved in that process. She strives to create a team mentality to let the students know they have a strong support system at school and a home.“Building relationships centered around the common denominator — the student — is crucial to a child’s success,” Stock said. “Relationships matter.”

Outside of the classroom, Stock has strengthened Brookside, which opened in 2019, by helping create a student council to provide additional leadership opportunities for third- through fifth-graders. The student-led projects have aided in creating a school community that cares for each other.

The 2024 Above & Beyond Awards ceremony to honor Stock and 14 other exceptional employees will take place April 3 at the Educational Service Center (ESC).