2018-2019 Teacher of the Year: Dr. Leason


Sami Frankel '20

Dr. Leason teaching her class.

  It’s quite fitting how Dr. Leason found out she was the recipient of the 2019 Teacher of the Year award. 

  “I was actually here on a Friday afternoon, finishing up the last of some of my CP (College Prep) grades,” Dr. Leason recalls, “Dr. Tull actually stopped by, asked what I was still doing here [at school] so late on a Friday afternoon, and that’s where he lightened the mood and told me that I had been nominated as Teacher of the Year.” 

  As a teacher of 25 years, Dr. Leason is no rookie. Before becoming an educator at Eastern, she taught at her alma mater, Gloucester Catholic, for six years. When comparing the two highly-regarded schools to each other, she describes them as “night and day.” She was fresh out of college when she taught at Gloucester Catholic, so it was  odd to be calling her former teachers her colleagues just four years after graduating high school.  

  She credits Eastern for allowing her to grow both in and out of the classroom, and helping her thrive in leadership roles. “There’s just so much room for growth and personal advancement that I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to have at Gloucester Catholic,” remarks Dr. Leason. 

  Dr. Leason’s educational background includes attending Holy Family University, while earning her Bachelor’s Degree in both English and Secondary Education. In addition to her Bachelor’s, she also has a Master’s Degree. She recently completed her doctoral studies at Widener University, a long and arduous six year journey. 

  This is not Dr. Leason’s first prestigious teaching accolade. She has won the nationally recognized “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers,” a publication where nationally recognized students nominate teachers that have had a meaningful impact on them. In addition, the Eastern senior class of 2015 selected her as the “Most Inspirational Female Teacher” in the Eastern yearbook that spring. 

  One of the first people Dr. Leason told after receiving the news of winning Teacher of the Year was her mentor at Holy Family University, Dr. Dittimer. “She loves her students…She really puts that extra time and effort into it [education] and I hope in some ways that I emulate her personality and dedication to her students,” remarked Dr. Leason. Dr. Dittimer also played a key role in Dr. Leason’s decision to pursue her Doctorate. 

  Some of Dr. Leason’s favorite books to read in the English curriculum include Tuesdays with Morrie, The Great Gatsby, and Siddhartha. “American lit [literature] is definitely my favorite of all the literature selections that we have here at Eastern.” She adores Gothic romantic authors, and Edgar Allen Poe is one of her favorites.

  Despite all of her success both in and out of the classroom, Dr. Leason did not expect to be nominated for Teacher of the Year. “I feel very humbled by it and it’s something where I’m proud but also feel the weight of that responsibility on my shoulders at many times.” 

  Dr. Leason is thankful for the opportunities Eastern has provided to her for nearly two decades. “It’s a great district and I really do enjoy working here. Gloucester Catholic was home, but Eastern has definitely become like a second home to me.” 

  For all the late nights and hours helping students achieve their full potential, Dr. Leason’s acceptance of this tremendous honor puts all of her hard work into perspective. She too, is thriving, teaching students the same skills that have made her into the successful individual she is today.