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March 14, 2022
Dr. Julie Hadden passed away on Feb. 5, 2022, at her home on Whidbey Island in the state of Washington after a brave seven-month struggle with bile duct cancer. She was 70 years old. Julie was born on June 7, 1951, in Inglewood, Calif. As a child, Hadden’s natural talent as a leader began to develop. Her mother said she would wrangle neighborhood kids into submission by saying, “Do as I say or I’ll knock your block off!” She would go on to further refine her leadership skills throughout her long career in education as a teacher and administrator, ultimately becoming superintendent of Alhambra Unified School District in Southern California.
She began her teaching career in Los Angeles, teaching ESL and adaptive physical education at South Gate Middle School and High School. She moved to Alhambra Unified School District and worked at all three high schools. She did not miss a home football game on Friday nights for 10 years. Serving as Principal of Alhambra High School, Hadden was instrumental in the successful implementation of the Model Technology Schools Project. She took the lead in making sure that all students would participate in college preparatory courses by de-tracking many of the high school courses. She pushed hard for the implementation of the Advance Via Individual Determination system and Alhambra High School became the first AVID National Demonstration High School in Los Angeles County.
Hadden was promoted to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at the Alhambra Unified School District Office. She served in this position for five years and then was promoted to the position of Alhambra School District Superintendent. She served as superintendent for four years. Hadden was known for her administrative skills, her sensitivity, her creativity, her humor and her love of life. She was masterful working with school board members. Her staff said she believed in people and they in turn had confidence in her and felt safe under her leadership. Hadden found joy and fun in the incredibly stressful work of a school administrator.
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