More To The Story With Staley: Aquarium Educator Retires

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – It takes about….oh……30 seconds to clearly see that Julia Gregory loves her job.

But after 25 years at the Aquarium, Julia, the senior educator, is retiring. As of the 5 o’clock whistle.

25 years on the job. 25 years of connecting people with the natural world.

So why is she retiring? Well, for those of us who are older, we can certainly relate.

“I’m retiring because my body is old and tired. I just can’t keep up the pace anymore. We have some wonderful, energetic and creative people in my department. And I’m bringing up the rear.”

What Julia will never give up is her love of animals. It’s been her passion all of her life. She says without animals, she’s not complete.

Her favorite furry friend? Fly squirrels. Appropriately, that’s her last class on her last day. Julia says she admires their personality.

What is her least favorite member of nature? This might be hard to believe….remember…..Julia has worked 25 years… an aquarium!

“I can make it public now. My dirty little secret. I don’t like fish. But after 25 years, I’ve come to appreciate fish.”

Doesn’t like to eat fish either. Doesn’t like to fish…..for fish. That’s a scoop right there!

Anyways, Julia says she doesn’t feel she’s leaving something, as much as she’s going towards something. She says she has a list of things to do.

But as for her co-workers at the aquarium??

“They are special. The culture here is of team. We have everybody’s back. It’s wonderful to come in and wave and say good morning to people…….and get a wave and a good morning back.”

Julia says she’ll still come back to the aquarium every now and then. Still challenging herself. Still inspiring others.
From the aquarium, Dave Staley, News 12.

Categories: Featured, Local News, More To The Story With Staley