Dr. Julie Diane Whitis, age 42, of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, passed away on April 18, 2022. She was born on November 15, 1979. Julie was preceded in death by her biological father, Doug Chappell, grandmother Nellie Sensel, and her husband Gary Whitis. She is survived by her daughter Caroline Reece Dalton, mother Laura Ennis, adoptive father Ben (David) Turner, loving boyfriend Dr. Francis O’Hara, sister Pamela Ollis and niece Sara, her best friends Kerri and Melvin Phillips and their daughters Maci and Laney, Madrina to her goddaughter Lina (Neil) Dayrit, and good friend and confidant Helen Whitley, and Uncle Steve Sensel.
Julie graduated from Connor High School in 1998 and went on to earn her baccalaureate in Biology and Secondary science Education from Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in 2002, a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from the University of the Cumberland’s in 2012, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from NKU in 2017.
She began her educational career at Simon Kenton High School, where she taught science, was a site-based council member, and served as the department chair, until 2012. Julie was critical in the development of the Kenton County Academics of Innovation and Technology, where she served as assistant principal, and eventually principal, until 2019.
In 2019, Julie was selected as principal of Ignite Institute. Her success was marked by her commitment to the success of those around her. Julie valued everyone for who they were, while also seeing the potential of who they could become, and persistently helped them move forward on that path. Her motto throughout her professional career was “Care first. Then, teach.” Julie embodied and instilled that on everyone in her presence. She empowered those around her by fiercely believing in their potential.
A celebration of Julie’s life will take place on Friday, April 29, 2022, at Receptions, 1379 Donaldson Highway, Erlanger, Kentucky 41018. All are welcome to pay their respects from 4pm until 7pm. There will be a gathering of family, friends, and community to share stories and experiences from 7pm until 8pm. Please reach out to Alyssa Morgan (513) 787-0429 or Amanda Dempsey (859) 391-7165 to RSVP to speak.
In lieu of flowers, the family is accepting donations for her daughter, Caroline Dalton’s, continuing education, which can be sent to c/o Caroline Dalton, P.O. Box 12081, Covington, Kentucky 41012.