NATCHITOCHES – As an educator whose career spanned several decades and included work on the state and local level, Julia Hildebrand felt a desire to support aspiring teachers who have a passion for children. She and her husband recently established the Julia Hildebrand Education Endowed Scholarship for education majors through a donation to the Northwestern State University Foundation that will support students who are passionate about teaching. Recipients must maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average.
“I’m just grateful to NSU for the opportunity I had to study and become a teacher,” she said. “Teachers have a responsibility to not only provide instruction in the curriculum they also have to create a loving and happy learning environment.”
Dr. Kimberly McAlister, dean of NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development said the Hildebrand’s generosity will help students with a desire to work with Louisiana’s children.
“Julia Hildebrand has faithfully served the children of Louisiana in a variety of capacities including teacher, supervisor, director of curriculum and instruction, school board member and state grant evaluator. This scholarship will continue her impact on the education of children,“ McAlister said. “Certified teachers are critically needed in Louisiana as the number of teachers entering the workforce does not meet the demand of school districts. “
Hildebrand was a kindergarten and elementary classroom teacher and supervisor of elementary instruction and director of curriculum and instruction in Natchitoches Parish before her retirement in 1994. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Northwestern State in 1962, a master’s in elementary education in 1967 and completed an Ed.S. in elementary education in 1972. During her career, she served as an evaluator of student teachers, a trainer for the Louisiana Teacher Assessment program and was a BESE program evaluator. She has held offices in several professional organizations and is past president of the Natchitoches Parish School Board where she served as chairman of the education and personnel committees. In 2014, she was inducted into NSU’s Hall of Distinguished Educators.
Hildebrand served on several state- and parish-wide education committees, upgrading standards for math and reading, developing the first pupil progression plan and a junior great books program for gifted students in Natchitoches Parish. She was also involved with the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) bringing French teachers to Natchitoches Parish and later started parent-teacher conferences for all schools in the parish.
Hildebrand has also been active in the community. She and her husband were co-chairs of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival and she was an officer in the Business and Professional Women’s Club and a member of Chapter I, Philanthropic Education Organization, serving as president of the Louisiana chapter. She has been an active member of First Baptist Church since 1957 as a teacher, serving on the several committees and a member of the Couples Too Sunday School class. She has held offices with the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, representing APHN on the Historic District Development Commission, and acting in key roles to organize the Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival and fall tour of homes. She has also been involved with the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Society, the Mayor’s Ready Committee and initiated the Terrific Kids program for the Kiwanis Club in 1985, which continues today.
Hildebrand said that during her years as a supervisor, NSU’s College of Education was helpful to her, particularly Dr. Mildred “Dede” Hart Bailey, a respected dean and administrator.
Hildebrand credited her husband Tynes with the idea of establishing an education scholarship in her name. Tynes Hildebrand, who was head basketball coach at NSU for 16 seasons and athletic director from 1983-96, has an athletic scholarship in his name at NSU.
Hildebrand said the ideal scholarship recipient would be a person who felt a calling for teaching and would provide love and support as well as knowledge to a child. She said the scholarship could be beneficial not only to a traditional student, but also someone seeking alternative certification to teach or a graduate student.
The Hildebrands are parents to two sons, Tynes Jr. and Bruce, who graduated from NSU’s School of Business and are CPAs. They have five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
“We wanted to give back to NSU because it’s been so good to us. It’s payback with gratitude,” she said.
“We are so appreciative to Julia and Tynes Hildebrand in establishing the Julia Hildebrand Education scholarship for someone pursuing undergraduate or alternative certification,” McAlister said. “Their generosity will help students who desire to work with Louisiana children.”
Information on degree programs available in NSU’s School of Education are available at education.nsula.edu.