Doherty Welcomes Attias as New Dean


Courtesy of Julie Attias

Julie Attias at the beach. This year the former Air Academy staff member found a new home in Sparta.

New Dean of students Julie Attias is striking the delicate balance of taking care of safety and security and finding a place for everyone. Seniors might be starting to get a case of senioritis, the sophomores are just now getting out of their freshman shell, and she is here to help.
Born in Southern California, she was an avid fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime. She has fond memories of Sublime playing in her neighborhood. She said, “I am from Long Beach and that’s where Sublime originally was, so when I was in high school before they had made it big on the radio, they would play in people’s backyards on the weekends.”
In high school, she shined. She was crowned Homecoming Princess, was selected to be an All-American NCA cheerleader, ran for the cross country team, played soccer and much more. Why would someone do so much in just four years? “I wanted to have that well rounded high school experience,” she answered.
After graduating from high school, she went to Whittier College, where she expanded her extracurriculars by becoming her sorority’s president and continuing her soccer career. When I asked about the photo on her desk she said, “That was my first year of teaching at Downey High School which is about ten miles east of LA” adding “And I was the head varsity soccer coach there and we won every single year ’cause that’s what I do.”
Now one may be asking right now, how this incredibly talented lady became a dean? Attias explains: “About six years ago I had finished my admin license to become an assistant principal and sometimes one of the steps that you have to take to becoming an assistant principal is to be a dean of students and then I found out that working with kids in a different way was kind of my calling and passion.”
When asked about her style of dealing with discipline, her longtime friend and colleague Assistant Principal Elaine Charney explained it best: “She is a believer in restorative practice, so [she believes in] giving kids a second chance like a fresh start when they make a mistake.”
Charney continued, “She brings a strong sense of fairness when it comes to discipline, and she’s a great relationship builder with kids and she makes strong bonds with kids.”
Bonds are something very special, not just taking up her job, but also her office décor. When asked about the beach theme she said, “All of the pictures in my office actually have been painted by students. They’re advanced art students, so it was part of their assignment for the class. I think it’s super relaxing because you know it’s a little scary sometimes to come into the Dean’s office, but I just kind of want to make it a little bit more comfortable.”
She strives not just for comfort, but is there for advice. When asked what advice she has for class of 2023 she stated, “For seniors I would recommend that during your senior year you attend as many events and make as many memories that you can because this is kind of the the last year for all of that.”
She believes in securing those memories. That is truly why Sparta has gained a genuine role model, one whose charisma, kindness and love shine through the emotion of discipline everyday.