Published by the Orlando Business Journal on February 7, 2013
Julie Young, 52, has a vision to transform education one student at a time. Young has been involved in education since 1981 when she started as an elementary school teacher.
In 1997, she used those experiences to create the Florida Virtual School, the nation’s first public virtual school district that allows students to learn from anywhere. “One of our biggest challenges has been figuring out how to deliver a curriculum to give each student a customized educational experience.”
That goal helped create success for Florida Virtual School: It served more than 149,000 students in the 2011-2012 school year.
Last fall, Young’s innovative work earned her the Visionary Award from the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council.
Little-known fact: I first met my husband when I was 13. I tackled him during a football game.
First job: At a cheerleading/T-shirt firm
Favorite distraction: My golden retrievers
Education: Bachelor’s in elementary education, University of Kentucky; master’s in leadership, University of South Florida
Best advice: Stay close to the business.
Best business decision made: Creating a learning environment that was 24/7
Best way to stay competitive: Constantly worry about what is around the corner.
What motivates me: Working around people who care about and live their mission
Most important lesson learned: Hire people you would like to have over for dinner.
Greatest challenge: Remaining first in the industry
In a moment of weakness, I: Eat sweets. I love birthday cake.
If I could pick any other job, I’d be a: Nutritionist
Something that makes me neurotic: I am a neat freak.
Proudest business moment: Winning the McGraw Hill Prize for people who have dedicated their lives to improving education
Childhood dream: To be a singer
Favorite Movie: Hoosiers
I’d like to visit: Switzerland
I’ve always wanted to learn: To be fluent in a foreign language
Favorite artist: Carrie Underwood