On Thursday, April 6, Milam Lodge #2 in Nacogdoches presented the Mirabeau B. Lamar Award of Excellence to Julia Wells, Principal of Raguet Elementary.

According to a release from Nacogdoches ISD, Mirabeau B. Lamar is known as "The Father of Public Education in Texas," and this award of excellence is named in his honor.  The Mirabeau B. Lamar Award of Excellence is one of only two awards given by Masonic Lodges to non-Masons and is presented annually to an educator and/or public school administrator who has made a positive impact in public education, exhibits outstanding integrity, and one who possess a focus and determination to overcome challenges and adversity in their pursuit of excellence in public education.  Last year's award was presented to Dr. Judy Abbott, Dean of the James I. Perkins College of Education at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Julia Wells received a Bachelor's of Interdisciplinary Studies from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2002.  During her senior year at SFA she conducted her student teaching at Raguet Elementary in Nacogdoches and never left.  After graduation she was hired at Raguet where she taught grades two through four and later served as a reading specialist.  In 2012 she earned a Master's degree in Education and over the following two years served as the curriculum coach for kindergarten through 5th grade.  Afterwards she was promoted to the position of assistant principal, and in 2014 she was offered the job as principal and has successfully led Raguet Elementary ever since.

While still in the classroom teaching students at Raguet she routinely maintained a 100% pass rate on state exams.  Under her leadership as principal, Raguet received several notable distinctions among elementary schools in Texas, involving student progress.  More specifically achieving the top 25% in student progress when compared to peer elementary schools statewide, as well as noteworthy student progress in the disciplines of math and science.  Julia's motto is to strive for "whatever is best for the students, not adults."  It is evident that her leadership, focus, and efforts are paying off.

Julia has been married to her husband Mike for over 30 years and has two children.  Her son Andrew is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University and has relocated to Seattle, Washington and her daughter Bethany is currently a senior at SFA majoring in Mass Communications.

The members of Milam Lodge #2 are proud to present the Mirabeau B. Lamar Award of Excellence to Julia Wells for her outstanding leadership and achievement at Raguet Elementary.

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