WHEELING - As a former Air Force pilot, Julie Shively knows a little something about pressure to perform, attention to detail and a demand for excellence.
She'll soon get the chance to demonstrate that knowledge on a different stage as Wheeling Central Catholic High School's next principal, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston announced Wednesday.
Shively, a nationally recognized educator, will take the helm July 1 from retiring Principal Joseph Viglietta, who will end a 40-year career with Wheeling Central following the academic year. She comes to Wheeling from the Atlanta area, where she distinguished herself by earning National Board certification, an honor bestowed on just 2 percent of teachers nationwide.
Former Air Force pilot Julie Shively will take over July 1 as Wheeling Central Catholic High School’s new principal.
"We've brought in a real top-flight person," said diocese spokesman Bryan Minor. "I think her resume speaks for itself. ... She can be a real asset to the Ohio Valley."
In 2008-09, Shively was one of five teachers nationwide chosen for fellowships at the U.S. Department of Education. She has appeared on PBS to discuss education issues.
"Our Catholic high school principals play a prominent role in the formation of our youth, making a principal one of the most important leadership positions in the church," said the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of Wheeling-Charleston. "That is why I am so pleased that Julie Shively will be joining us as principal of Wheeling Central.
"Her impressive record as an educator and leader is exactly what will continue and enhance Central's tradition as a leading school in this region, and I am confident that Shively will serve Central, our diocese and our community well," Bransfield continued.
As a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Shively lettered in varsity soccer and water polo and earned the silver wings of a jump-qualified parachutist.
As an Air Force officer, Shively was one of 276 female pilots and flew the C-141 Starlifter.
She was chosen to fly sensitive State Department missions around the globe, including into the former Soviet Union to support the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. She was the officer in charge of her division during Operation Desert Storm and deployed in support of relief operations in Somalia.
At Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, Shively supervised airlift requirements for presidential, vice presidential and State Department missions. She continues to serve the nation in the Air Force Reserve.
"To have been chosen to lead Central Catholic High School with its reputation of academic excellence, athletic prowess and strong, faith-based core values is a tremendous honor and privilege," Shively said. "My husband and I look forward to calling Wheeling, W.Va., home."
In addition to a bachelor's degree from the Air Force Academy, Shively earned a master's degree in education from Virginia Commonwealth University, an education specialist degree from Brenau University, and she will complete her master's degree in educational leadership from Georgia Southern University in May.