After graduating from Incarnate Word College in May of 1991 with a Master’s in Education, Julie Bell began teaching Special Education with Northeast Independent School District (NEISD). In 1995 she was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) and was forced to stop working full time by 1998. Although faced with a debilitating condition, which caused functioning loss in her hands and legs, she realized she missed teaching and had to return to a career she loved. In 2002, Bell returned to NEISD full-time, where she continued teaching students with severe and profound handicaps. She firmly believes that having a disability enhances her teaching experience and helps her be more mindful of frustrations felt by others with physical limitations.
In 2004, she was once again faced with new challenges when Phillip Bell her husband of sixteen years was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and succumbed to the disease ten months later. As a single parent of 15 year-old Emma and 10 year-old Tyler, the emotional and physical struggle exacerbated the CIDP she suffered with. Each day involves foot orthotics, hand braces, and often a cane; however she continues to make significant contributions in working with the most severe and profoundly disabled students.
In 2012, she was honored by NEISD as the High School Teacher of the Year due to her instrumental efforts in educating students with disabilities. Bell's primary motivation is the awareness that she makes a true difference in children’s lives. This inspiration keeps her functioning from day to day and when physically struggling to get out of bed each morning she simply thinks of her main inspiration - her students.