Julie Clark Ames Biography
Julie Clark Ames graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1987 with a B.S. in Industrial Systems Engineering, minor in Spanish, and a minor in Technical Business Communications. While attending college, Julie worked in the family structural steel and erection business learning about accounting, detailing, estimating, programming machinery, and fabrication. Some of the most notable projects were the EPCOT ball, Big Thunder Railroad, and the PNC building in downtown Tampa.
Love and Marriage
Julie met her husband, Jeffrey Ames, at Georgia Tech. A West Point graduate, he had just completed five years with the 82nd Airborne, and was earning his Masters in Operations Research (a branch of Industrial Engineering), in preparation for his next assignment at the Pentagon.
Jeff and Julie were married while at Tech then moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Jeff was assigned to the Army Staff in the Pentagon after receiving his Masters. Julie’s first career job was as an Industrial Sales Representative for a paper recycling company. Her territory included Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.
Julie subsequently was hired as an Industrial Engineer with Naval Sea (NAVSEA) Systems Command in Arlington, VA. She is a graduate of the NAVSEA two year Cost Intern Program. Julie first served as an Analyst for Submarine Combat Systems, then as the Lead Cost Analyst for the Aircraft Carrier Program (USS Ronald Reagan), and finally as Business Analyst for the USS Missouri Battleship Museum.
After many years in the work force, Julie decided to become a stay-at- home mother with the birth of their first child. Jeff and Julie are the proud parents of three daughters: Maria, Christina, and Anna 19, 17, and 14. Jeff and Julie moved to Tampa in 2002 after 15 years in Washington, D.C. After moving to Tampa they realized their eldest two daughters were considered atypical autistic, the result of an innate genetic abnormality. Following her daughters’ genetic diagnosis in 2003, Julie has become a special needs expert and activist. As a trained speaker, she regularly give speeches and provides resources to other special needs parents through venues such as Toastmasters, Rotary Clubs, and PTA events. She has also been a guest speaker for the College of Education at the University of South Florida. Julie’s presentations are designed to help both general education and special education teachers-in-training understand the challenges of raising special needs children from a parent’s perspective.
Julie is currently writing a book. It is a story that provides guidance, hope, and education to parents and professionals who have or work with special needs children. Because of Julie’s involvement with the schools, extensive experience (both good and bad) with the medical community and an unfortunate encounter with social services, Julie can give the readers the guidance they need to navigate their way through the murky educational, medical, and legal waters that special needs families find themselves drowning in. Conversely, by presenting the parents’ perspective, professionals working in these fields will gain a greater understanding to provide services in a way that is truly helpful.
Hillsborough County Involvement
Hillsborough County Council PTA
Lithia Springs School Representative 2006-2007
Lithia Springs School Delegate 2007-2008
County Council Area 6 Vice-President 2007-2008
Note: member of seven different school PTAs and Homeroom mother for each child at least once!
Hillsborough County Economic Stimulus Task Force for IDEA Spring 2009
(One of twenty-eight individuals selected to help the school system determine the best way to help special needs students with the $44 Million the school district received from the Federal Government.)
Superintendent’s Exceptional Student Education Advisory Committee
Parent Representative 2007-2016
President 2014-2016 (two year term)
Member of the following Committee as a Special Needs Parent:
Hillsborough County Public School Transportation Plan Committee 2007-2008 (Included Area V pilot program)
Hillsborough County Public School Exceptional Student Education Adoption Text Book – December 2007, January 2008, May 2010, December 2011 (Review textbooks to be purchased by the county for special needs students.)
Hillsborough County Public School Exceptional Student Education Policies & Procedures Committee Fall 2010 (FL Dept. of Education allows the county to have input on state policies and procedures.)
Hillsborough County Protocol Review Feedback Fall 2012 (Safety & Emergency Procedures, Bus Training, staffing, coordination/communication, fence height)
Hillsborough County BESS (Bureau of Exceptional Education & Student Services) Parent Trial w/ LRP Special Education Connection Access Jan-May 2014 (one of two parents in county to review website for parent use)
Hillsborough County 2012 Excellence In Action Award Winner – “Positive Parent ” Award – “Julie Ames” (Annual Hillsborough County Public School Awards for the special needs community.)
Mayor’s Alliance for Persons with Disabilities: Excellence in Media Award winner 2016