By Scott Kuhn
After North Murray High School senior Julie Petty takes possession of her diploma next spring, she will bid Murray County farewell in order to attend college.
Her experiences will dictate what will come next.
“Right now, my plan after college is to return to Murray County and become a Spanish teacher as well as an interpreter,” Julie stated. “I love spending time on our farm and with my family, but my parents have encouraged me to explore my options. They tell me to take advantage of my time before getting married and starting a family by travelling and possibly living elsewhere if life pulls me in that direction. I’m open to whatever plans God has for me.”
In the meantime, there are some experiences still to be had as she finishes up her final year of high school. One of those happens to be serving as a captain of the varsity volleyball team.
“My first experience playing volleyball was when I participated in the elementary program offered by North Murray volleyball when I was in the fifth grade. I then became part of the team in eighth grade and continued through 12th grade,” she said.
Petty gives her fifth grade coaches credit for teaching her how to play the game she loves.
“Grace Phillips inspired me to play with her positive attitude and love of the game,” Petty said.
Petty plays setter and right side. She’s lettered for varsity every year that she’s played in high school. She has also received other recognitions, including the “Dream Team 1st pick” award her freshman year and both the Mountaineer Award in volleyball as well as an all- state honorable mention award during her junior year.
Though Petty doesn’t have any definite plans to continue playing volleyball in college, she’s open to the possibility. But for now, she’s simply focusing on which hat she’d eventually like to wear.
“Right now, I’m looking at Berry College and Georgia Southern because they offer the degree in which I’m interested,” she said. “I’ve visited Georgia Southern and I have dates to visit Berry and UGA in October.”
Petty is sure of one thing in her future. She’d like to be a volleyball coach even as she pursues her career as a Spanish teacher.
“I would like to inspire and encourage students and players the way I have been,” she said. “Sometimes it only takes one person encouraging and believing in you to help you realize that you can reach your goals.”
Petty is already learning some of the the ins and outs of coaching, thanks to Coach Rachel Adams, who has assigned her leadership responsibilities during practices. Petty has also coordinated some of the practice exercises and helped younger players as well.
Petty enjoys a variety of activities outside of school. She likes to travel, enjoys snow skiing and hiking, and also finds contentment in being at home with her family and spending time with her friends. She sometimes tunes in to watch Women’s USA Volleyball and also attends Calvary Baptist Church, where she is active in the youth group, works with younger children, and helps with Vacation Bible School.
Petty’s parents are Derek and Missie Petty. She also has an older sister, Grace, who currently lives in Dahlonega, where she is attending the University of North Georgia. Julie considers her grandmother, Alda Petty, one of her biggest role models, stating that she is a hard-working woman who always offers her support and encouragement.
Petty’s motto is appropriate for a young lady with her ambition. It is Philippians 4:14.
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.