By Anne “AJ” Perrin 

Julia Kaiser is the principal of one of the newest high schools in the Vail School District (VSD), located in the Corona de Tucson community. Andrada Polytechnic High School is located on Houghton Road, just south of the I-10 freeway. Julia is a most personable individual and loves coming to work every day. She is excited about another opportunity to be involved with the over 900 students attending her school.   

Julia grew up outside Philadelphia, graduated from Franciscan University in Ohio with a degree in writing, before joining the pharmaceutical industry.  After marriage and adding two children to their family, they moved to Tucson.  She continued her education at Northern Arizona University and the University of Phoenix. She acquired a teaching certificate and master’s degree, then began her teaching experience in the Sunnyside School District for 5 years.   

Jury duty with a Vail School District principal convinced her to investigate the VSD. The VSD program intrigued her, and she transferred here.  Her passion is in working with older students, so she found her niche in working multiple assignments including being the former assistant principal at Vail Academy and High School and Cienega High School prior to taking on the principalship at Andrada Polytechnic 4 years ago. 

Andrada offers college, career technical education, as well as offering a wide variety of dual enrollment classes for students to earn college credit, while attending high school. This program offers the advantage of providing hands on experience in preparing students to begin their working career in the field they wish to pursue, and a jump start on pursuit of major in college. 

Julia feels the current generation of students have different pressures on them than students of earlier years, because of technical availability and social media.  This requires teaching methods to be constantly upgraded to respond.  Almost all the teaching is done with laptops, with heavy book bags being a distant memory!  

Julia has as much joy for her work as enthusiasm for her students. This includes the principal regularly distributing “happy message” fortune cookies on occasion to brighten the students’ days!  

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