Flashback Friday: Ms. Julie Weitzel


What year did you graduate? “2006.”

Were you involved in any sports/clubs? “I did OnStage!, basketball, volleyball, S.W.A.T., NHS and StuCo. Basketball was a big part of my high school experience. I loved it. I wanted to do the musical instead of volleyball my senior year, so I just switched and did theater!”

  • What made you join etc… your senior year? “I always had a lot of friends in theater because of my connection with OnStage!. I always went to all the performances, and I always said this is something that I really like. Volleyball kind of ran its course. It just came to a point where I wasn’t as good as the other people. I played volleyball because I liked it, not because I was passionate about it.”
  • Did being involved have a lasting effect on you after high school? “I guess the biggest effect of it all is that I’m trying to be a part of student council now as a sponsored mentor. Also, ever since I was in the musical I’ve been really interested in it. I haven’t been in a lot of productions, but I’ve always been an avid fan. It has helped shaped my interests today.”

Did you have a job during high school? My parents always wanted me to have time to do all the school things that I wanted to do, so they didn’t ask me to get a job. They just thought I had the rest of my life to have a job. My dad said, ‘Just get good grades so I don’t have to pay for college,’ so that’s what I did.”

What were you like in high school? I was a lot like I am now except less confident. I was very social. I was definitely over-involved. I was definitely trying to please people, especially my teachers; I wanted to be a good kid.”

What was your typical outfit? Basketball did a lot more dressing out as a team for our games. Around two to three days a week, we had planned outfits. Other than dressing up for games, I didn’t try too hard. That’s something I definitely decided to invest more time in later in life. I didn’t care in high school.”

What are some memorable moments or stories you recall from your high school experiences? I just remember a lot of football stuff and going to a lot of games. I went to the away games, too. I was one of those people that loved them. Catpound started when I was in high school. I was in the first Catpound.

I remember one time I went to an away game at Parkway North, and there was this one Parkway North player that got hurt on the field. I saw the whole thing, and it was awful. We saw him when he got tackled, and then he just passed out.

Everyone was really worried about him, and they had to bring an ambulance on the field because they couldn’t wake him up. It was a very serious concussion. They said that in the aftermath of his injury they found out that he had a brain tumor. He wouldn’t have known unless he had gotten the treatment for his concussion. So he came and thanked our team and said that we helped save his life. We gave him the game ball from that night.

The crazy part is that a couple years later, he went to my university, Southeast Missouri State, and he was in my class. He told his whole story about what had happened. At the end of the speech, I was like, ‘I know you!’”

How was EHS similar or different to how it is now? It’s really similar. The only thing that I would say was different is that it’s bigger now than it used to be.

Being at Eureka as a freshman was completely different than being here as a senior. I was here during Eureka’s transitional phase. I’m sure everyone feels that way, but we got new buildings, the new theater and different people became in charge of programs. I think my senior year is more similar to how it is now, and things have continued to change.

The school culture is the same, too, because of our traditions. It’s different than any other school I’ve been to or taught in. I’ve taught in other Rockwood schools, and I’ve taught in Parkway schools. Eureka is just different. People care about each other. People do things to help each other out. There are a lot less issues with behavior; people get along better.”

Do you remember any specific teachers that you had? What do you remember about them? Of course, I remember all of my teachers. They were all great. Mrs. [Jenni] Highfill was the kind of person I was a little bit afraid of, but I also admired and wanted her to be proud of me, so I tried really hard for her.

Obviously, for me I became a Spanish teacher, so I always remembered her because she was the last Spanish teacher I had. I think she was very effective as a teacher, and I think that it inspired me. Also, I just wanted to do well. She’s definitely a reason why I became a Spanish teacher today. 

I also had Mr. [Mike] Thebeau and Mr. [Matt] Strickland. It’s kind of weird that I see a lot of my former teachers slowly retiring, like Mr. [Jim] Schulz last year, and it’s so sad. It’s just kind of hard to see a new wave of teachers coming in because the old ones are what make Eureka what it is. When we talk about tradition and when we talk about people caring, it’s because the teachers are so great.”

When was your first year working here? “I started working here in 2012, and then I went to Lafayette for a year. Once I came back to Eureka the year later, I planned on sticking around.”

What were the school dances like? I think it’s kind of funny how they were different from what they are now. They’re similar in that the music and the dancing are the same. When I was at Homecoming this year, they played songs that were at my Homecoming, and the kids all knew them, and I was like, ‘Wow the kids all know them. This song is literally 12 years old.’ Also, everyone wore long dresses back in my day instead of shorter, less fancy ones. In my day, Homecoming was like a mini-Prom.”