From: Darcy Johnson
After 32 years at Emporia State University (30 of those in financial aid), Jule Kirk is hanging up her FA hat as of Thursday, February 28th. I had an opportunity to sit down with Jule as she was cleaning out her office to share with you her favorite memories and future plans.
When asked what her favorite memory of the office was she replied, “ the best experience is helping those students who are really struggling and get them on the right track.” It’s also very rewarding when those students come back to say thank you down the road. She also commented that she has been blessed to be surrounded with great co-workers that are more like family.
As the conversation turned to KASFAA, Jule once again commented on the love for her financial aid family. One of her favorite memories was when the ESU office created a video for Wilma Kasnic’s (then ESU Director of Financial Aid) birthday and showed it at a KASFAA conference. With love, they highlighted some of Wilma’s idiosyncrasies, including when she fell out of her chair while talking with an upset mother, stayed on the floor, and just kept talking. Jule has served on the Membership and Conference Planning committees, but the committee work most near and dear to her was the work she did with College Goal Sunday. She enjoyed working with all KASFAA members, but her work with Kathy Blau and Gary Bateman stands out as quality time.
Jule has many plans after retirement. Most of them including being Full Time MomR (see picture). MomR was a title created by her oldest grandson, and one that she holds close to her heart. In fact, it’s much preferred over Grandma! Jule’s dedication to her family was evident as joy exploded from her face as she talked about the plans to spend more time with them. Jule has three sons, Tell, Tyrel, and Daniel; and considers their spouses, Jessica, Emily, and David her children as well. She’s blessed to have one of her boys here in Emporia, and gets to see her two grandsons quite often. The other two are out of state, in Florida and Georgia. She has three granddaughters in Florida, and many granddogs across the country! Travel is definitely at the top of her list so she can see her out of state kids more often.
Jule will also be saddle buddy to her husband Kim, who retired last year. Her mom is currently in assisted living, so she’s happy to have more time to spend with her and taking care of her. Self-care will include gardening (where she won’t have to race to get ready for work after watering the plants), sitting and reading in her egg basket swing chair (a retirement gift from Kim) on their deck, and traveling a mere seven minutes from her home to her kids’ home on a lake to enjoy the most peaceful reading spot in the world.
Jule’s bucket list includes going to New York to experience Broadway with her son, Daniel, driving through the Northeast with Kim during peak fall foliage season, and possibly visit a few Civil War battlefields along the way (one of Kim’s passion).
Jule’s final thoughts: “Financial Aid is a special place to work. The people who get in to financial aid stay for the long haul because, while it’s very hard work, it’s also an incredibly rewarding career.” Once again she is especially thankful for the blessing of all the wonderful people with whom she’s had the opportunity to work alongside over the last 30 years.
Anyone who would like to stay in touch with Jule after retirement can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org