The following public comments were made by Riverside Elementary PTA President Denise Mobley at the June 13 meeting of the Harford County Board of Education. A copy was provided to The Dagger for publication:
Good evening, President Wolkow, Superintendent Tomback and Members of the Board:
My name is Denise Mobley. I am the President of the PTA at Riverside Elementary in Joppatowne and the mother of 3 children who attend Riverside. I would like to read a brief Letter of Appreciation regarding Riverside’s current principal, Creighton Leizear.
My son started Kindergarten at Riverside in 2005, not too long after Mr. Leizear came to Riverside as our principal. ½ way through my son’s Kindergarten year, the Harford County PTA called a meeting to try to revive the PTA. It had gone inactive. Sometime after starting as principal of the school a year and ½ earlier, in addition to taking on a new building, new staff, and getting to know 500 new kids and families, Mr. Leizear, together was his assistant principal, assumed the running of the PTA, including holding fundraisers and organizing field trips.
Having worked with him now for 6 years, I can no longer recall what it was like when we first met and started having discussions on the PTA Board. I can tell you that at all of our monthly meetings over these past years, either Mr. Leizear, or his assistant principal, Ms. Kron, or both, has attended, to provide us with a report on the state of the school, and just keep us up to date. I can no longer recall how we used to interact back in 2005; I can only tell you that it feels now as if all our efforts are collaborative, not only between the PTA and the administration, but between the PTA, administration, faculty and staff.
As the leader of the school community, Mr. Leizear is largely responsible for this effort. Parents asked me to tell you that they have always been impressed by the way Mr. Leizear calls each child by name at drop-off and dismissal, as well as parents and families; and teachers have asked me to tell you that Mr. Leizear has made Riverside a place with child-centered teachers, who work together to best meet the needs of our school population. This is due to Mr. Leizear’s open door policy and hard work turning our school community into a “Riverside Family.”
Examples abound of ways in which Mr. Leizear has maintained this open door, collaborative policy, for teachers and the PTA Board, including instituting programs he saw were successful at other schools, such as Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads. The amount of money he has spent out of pocket on treats such as prizes for Reading Night, raffle prizes for the kids at Movie Night, and so forth, I don’t want to know! He “puts his money where his mouth is” not only by providing his personal financial support to Riverside, but also with his presence, and effort, in attending PTA-sponsored events such as Chuck E. Cheese night, and bringing his niece and nephew to Movie Night. With such an example, it is no wonder we feel like our school is truly a “Community School.”
I speak for many parents, and many children, when I say we are sad to see Mr. Leizear moving on to another school! We wish him luck at his new school and thank him for his years of service at Riverside.
President of the PTA at Riverside Elementary in Joppatowne