Seattle City (spot)Light: Julie High

Julie High began her career with the City of Seattle in 1989. Throughout her tenure, she’s held roles at Seattle Public Utilities, Finance and Administrative Services and Transportation. This August will mark Julie’s one-year anniversary as a Senior Management Systems Analyst at City Light’s Skagit Hydroelectric Project.

After her father got out of the Navy, Julie’s parents relocated their family from Atlanta to Seattle (her mother’s hometown). Julie has since lived in Auburn, Port Angeles, Bellevue and now calls Newhalem home. “I live in one of the City Light houses,” Julie said. “I love having a beautiful home right on the Skagit River with so many hiking trails abound. My kids and I are getting kayaks, so we can go out on the lakes.”

Julie graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Washington (UW). “My parents encouraged me to apply for an Engineering Aide job right after I graduated high school,” Julie shared. “I applied, got the job and went to college in the evenings. That’s how I began my City career.” She also has a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Julie talks about her career with the City and shares her joy of living amongst nature.

Julie basking in the beauty of the North Cascades

“Years ago, I was driving the North Cascades Scenic Loop and saw City Light signs outside Newhalem. I was surprised that you could work for the City and live in such a remote site! I said then that I hoped to transfer to the Skagit Project before I retire. I was always looking for that opportunity and jumped at this job last year. In my role, I do workload planning and WAMS work orders for the crews. I love working with them; there are many different trades so it’s fun to see the variety of work. I also do budgets and management reporting.”

“I love to ride my bike. I used to commute from Bellevue to downtown Seattle. I’m a little nervous to ride it here with the tourist traffic on the curvy roads, but I’ve been getting back out there. I love to hike and explore the woods. We’re planning to go hunting this year. I like riding motorcycles and plan to buy another one soon. Last year I went on a ride around Mexico’s Baja peninsula. It was so much fun; I’d love to do more trips like it.”

“My daughter Alli just finished her freshman year at UW. My sons Blake and Reid are entering twelfth and seventh grade, respectively. Reid likes to ride his bike around the neighborhood and get treats from the Skagit General Store. We all love dining at the Gorge Inn. Newhalem is a beautiful place, it’s great for stargazing since there’s no light pollution from the city.”

“The City of Seattle is a fabulous place to work. Career opportunities are varied; you can never get bored. I’ve been so thrilled to join City Light because of the wonderful people at the Skagit Project. It was a big move away from family and friends, but everyone has been very welcoming and are fun to be around. The work is very interesting; there’s so much to learn.”