Broad Acres Elementary to be Renamed in Honor of Former Principal JoAnn Leleck
The Montgomery County Board of Education has unanimously approved renaming Broad Acres Elementary School in honor of the school’s former principal, JoAnn “Jody” Leleck. The school’s name will officially become JoAnn Leleck Elementary School at Broad Acres on October 1. A renaming event will be held during the school year.
Mrs. Leleck, who died in 2012, was an educator for more than 26 years in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and administrator.
“Jody Leleck was an outstanding educator who impacted the lives of countless children through her work as an educator and a school leader,” said Phil Kauffman, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “I can think of no better way to honor her legacy and her life’s work.”
From 1999 to 2004, Mrs. Leleck was the principal of Broad Acres Elementary School, where she led a remarkable turnaround at one of the most impacted schools in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Under her leadership, the school was reorganized to focus on building the literacy skills of the students, 90 percent of whom were living near or below the poverty line. Mrs. Leleck oversaw the implementation of early childhood education reforms, including full-day kindergarten and lower class sizes in grades 1 and 2. She also implemented efforts to extend the school day and the school week, and oversaw a highly competitive teacher recruitment process.
Under her leadership, Broad Acres went from being one of the lowest-performing schools in MCPS to one of its highest-achieving at the time. The strategies and ideas used at Broad Acres were featured in a book—Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County Public Schools—published by Harvard Educational Press.
“JoAnn Leleck was an exceptional leader and she built an extraordinary team and culture when she was at Broad Acres Elementary School,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “She personified high expectations both for her staff and for her students. She let everyone in the school know she believed they could achieve great things and achieve great things they did.”
“That culture lives on today and so it is fitting to honor her memory by renaming the school JoAnn Leleck Elementary School at Broad Acres,” said Dr. Starr.
More than 200 members of the Broad Acres Elementary School community signed a petition presented to the Board of Education in June asking the Board to consider renaming the school in Mrs. Leleck’s honor. Board member Michael Durso, a former principal colleague of Mrs. Leleck’s in the Northeast Consortium, asked the Board to consider the name change. The superintendent presented a resolution to the Board Monday night to formally rename the school, which received unanimous support.