Chambers announce lakeshore ATHENA winners


Tracy Wilson.

The first female principal of a lakeshore high school has been named the 2016 Lakeshore ATHENA Award winner.

Grand Haven High School principal Tracy Wilson was honored at the 12th-annual Lakeshore ATHENA Award luncheon this week at Trillium Events in Spring Lake.

Sarah Julius, managing partner at Holland-based Edify North, an employee benefits consulting firm, also was honored at the luncheon with the 2016 Lakeshore ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award.

The ATHENA Award award annually honors a woman or man for their professional excellence, community service and actively assisting women in attaining their own professional excellence.

The awards program is a collaboration among The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysberg, the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce and the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

The ATHENA Award winner is chosen from 10 finalists by a selection committee made up of chamber members and community business leaders.

Wilson’s background

Wilson has been with Grand Haven Area Public Schools, or GHAPS, for 28 years, including 10 years teaching and coaching and 12 years as assistant athletics director and vice principal. In 2011, she became Grand Haven High School’s first female principal.

Wilson has received the Excellence in Service award from GHAPS and was involved with the development of several programs, including Capturing Kids’ Hearts, Bucs Above Bullying, TEAM GH, Cystic Fibroisis 5k, Love a Buc and Help a Buc.

An advocate for suicide prevention training, Wilson completed a program to become a trainer of other GHAPS staff.

She is co-founder of the Mental Health Awareness Advisory Council and president of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals.

Julius’ background

As founding partner of Edify North, Julius has helped grown the firm to 12 employees and more than 50 clients with revenue of $1.8 million since 2009.

Julius is a contributor to Holland Youth Advisory Council’s Healthy Holland and coaches Girls on the Run in Allegan and Ottawa counties. 

She also has served as the chair of West Coast Leadership Program’s Economic Development Day, recruitment chair for Heart Chase Holland and been named a Business Journal 40 Under Forty honoree. 

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