Julia Strong used to go to Masuk High School as a child to watch her father, Hall of Fame coach David Strong, lead the girls basketball team to victories, and she went onto win a state championship as one of his players in 1990. Julia came back as a teacher years later, and on Monday night she was named the school's assistant principal.
Supt. of Schools James Agostine said he had heard that Strong spent most of her youth at Masuk and added that she went through a rigorous process and interview before being named assistant principal.
"She has the support and respect of everyone at Masuk," Agostine said of Strong.
Strong will work closely with Masuk Principal Joseph Kobza, also a graduate of Masuk's Class of 1990. After high school, Kobza and Strong were classmates again at Trinity College.
"We've known each other a long time," Strong said. "I'm thrilled I've been part of Masuk since I was born. This chapter is a new opportunity for me to continue to serve Masuk on a larger scale."
"She's fantastic," Kobza said. "I'm excited for her, but I think I'm more excited for myself. She'll be fantastic to work with. Julia is a great addition. She knows this place inside and out."
Strong graduated from Trinity with a double major in psychology and Theater & Dance. She earned a Master's degree in education technology from Eastern Connecticut and completed an administrative educator certification program — which is the equivalent of another Master's degree — at Sacred Heart University.
She taught at Chalk Hill School in 2002, before becoming a history teacher at Masuk in 2003. Strong is one of the leaders of Masuk's Drama Department.
Strong lives in Bethany with her partner Ann Odoy and the couple just had twin boys — Liam and Logan — last December. Odoy, a guidance counselor at Masuk, succeeded Strong's father as the girls basketball coach.
"The boys' first time out was to see their mom coach," Strong said.
David Strong, who retired from Masuk last year, is proud of his daughter.
Julia said, "My Dad always asks for news from Masuk and tries to stay in the loop. He's looking forward to buying next year's yearbook now that I'll have my picture in it as assistant principal."