In her first novel, “EduCate”, middle school teacher, Englewood Educators member and CEA Ambassador Fellowship alumni Julie White blurs the lines between fact and fiction. “EduCate” follows Cate Reed, who is battling apathetic students, middle school antics and all the extra duties a teacher must manage at Lilacwood Middle School.
Cate tries her best but is finding it harder and harder to find her footing as a teacher. She finds solace with her partner Brad and cat, Magpie. Her life turns upside down when the coronavirus changes everything in 2020. Through a fellowship in her educators’ union, Cate begins to develop her voice. She tries to adapt to online teaching as debates rage around schools opening safely, masks and eventually, vaccinations. George Floyd’s murder brings social justice and racial equity to the forefront as America navigates the pandemic of systemic racism. A controversial shirt worn to school creates a firestorm. During a school year like no other, Cate has to decide where she stands.
Author Julie White was born in Columbia, Missouri and grew up in Sweet Springs, Missouri. After graduating high school, she Seattle Pacific University for her undergraduate degree, studying journalism and communication. She married her husband Nathan in 2005. While in Seattle, she taught summer camps, environmental education and at the Pacific Science Center, where discovered she loved working with kids. She and Nathan moved to Colorado in 2008 and went back to school for her Masters in Education at Regis University, completing it in December of 2009. She has been teaching high school and middle school language arts ever since, currently at Englewood Middle School, just south of Denver.
Julie joined her local association, Englewood Educators, immediately after getting hired. She was especially energized by the CEA Day of Action in April 2018. Englewood Educators organized a Day of Action first when PERA was threatened and it felt great to have over 500 educators and supporters join in to let lawmakers know that we need to protect PERA and to fund public education. This was the moment she became an activist. That summer, she participated in Ed Summer as an intern with CEA and learned how to connect with members and further spread activism (see the GLUE story on page 4). She continued her leadership journey as a CEA Ambassador Fellow during this past school year.
Since she was teaching from home for the 20-21 school year with eLearning, she decided an appropriate project could be documenting this crazy time in a novel. As the world shut down, she turned inward to create characters and poured her free time into writing. Julie loves how storytelling can connect us. She has talked to so many union members in one-on-ones over the years that helped her craft her plot. The Fellowship gave her an accountability group, support and encouragement to complete this novel. She also joined a Lighthouse Writing Group and found the entire project to be very cathartic and fulfilling. Julie wrote “EduCate” on weekends and when she isn’t writing, she is walking in her neighborhood in Englewood or exploring a mountain trail. She loves being an aunt, playing board games, snorkeling, and discussing books.
“EduCate” is available now on Amazon in ebook, print paperback or large print formats. One reviewer wrote, “Take a trip down the 2020-2021 lane with a character that is capable, passionate, and a fierce defender of her friends and community.”