Nick and Julie Pruitt came into the Wylie school district for one simple reason – their children.
As it turned out, the move proved to be a pretty smart decision for the entire family.
Nick and Julie were inducted into the Wylie Hall of Honor at Homecoming for their immense contributions to the district. Nick was a principal and assistant superintendent for more than 30 years, and Julie taught 7th-grade science.
And their children grew up right in the middle of it all.
“One of the greatest joys of Wylie was the fact that we got to teach our kids and be around their events,” Nick said. “Our kids got a really quality education by good role models who taught them how to live a good life. There were lots of eyes watching them. It’s been a great place to raise a family.”
Nick and Julie met at ACU where Nick played football and both were studying to be teachers and coaches. They married and went to work in the Abilene school district, where they were both teaching science and coaching.
Eventually Nick went into administration, and Julie dropped the coaching and focused only on science.
In 1985, Nick decided to accept a job as Middle School principal at Wylie.
“We felt like we wanted a smaller environment,” Nick said. “It seemed like the right fit for our kids.”
Julie moved to Wylie the very next year to teach 7th-grade science. The district was much smaller then.
“I taught all three of my kids in science because I was the only science teacher,” she said.
When Nick moved to principal at the High School, his whole family became involved in all the extra activities surrounding high school students.
“Julie just always helped me with whatever I did,” he said. “She had to help set up events and clean up events. The kids did too. It took the entire family.”
Jeb Pruitt, their oldest son, said he remembered growing up at Wylie.
“We were part of everything as young kids,” he said. “It didn’t matter what it was. There would be summers that we would be moving chairs. Jacob and I had a race to see who could get around the school first to make sure every door was locked.”
Nick would eventually become assistant superintendent for transportation and maintenance during a time when the district was experiencing immense growth.
“Everything began to be upgraded as we elevated in sports,” Nick said. “We had a lot of construction going on all those years. We were doing a lot with facilities. Bus barns, athletic facilities, adding additions to campuses. We added on just about every one.”
Wylie Superintendent Joey Light said Nick was great at any job he did.
“He was relentless about everything that he did,” Light said. “Hewould spend a tremendous amount of time on any and every projec that he did. His attention to detail was amazing.”
In addition to helping her husband, Julie went above and beyond at the Junior High. She helped create the Junior High’s Student Council and was its sponsor for several years. She also helped with UIL competitions and math/science competitions.
But her main focus was helping students succeed.
“I tried to instill in them a desire to improve, and I tried to show them how much they had improved,” she said. “When they saw their own improvement, then they improved even more. I think kids need that. It was nice to see that self-esteem and self-worth come through.”
Light said Julie was great at helping students succeed.
“Julie could connect with any student and help them be successful,” he said. “She was kind, loving and patient with students.”
Jeb said his parents just genuinely cared about kids.
“What a lot of people didn’t see was the students who came to our house and mom and dad would tutor them,” he said. “They wanted to make an impact on people’s lives.”
Nick said he and Julie were honored and surprised to be going into the Wylie Hall of Honor.
“We really don’t deserve this,” he said. “We are so flattered and honored. Working at Wylie has been just a blessing. This is such a great community. That community atmosphere really made Wylie special.”