Importance of Parent-Child Relationships Inspires Founding
A practicing psychologist for more than 40 years, Dr. Leman has helped thousands understand the dynamics of a healthy relationship between parent and child. That healthy relationship and the impact it has on a child’s development was the inspiration for his dream to create a school with a learning environment that embraces parents in the educational process and brings out the best in each child.
Our school’s establishment and everyday operations have become the fulfillment of that dream. At Leman, learning is fun, encouragement is a constant and children are emboldened to express their individuality. Children are taught to respect their teachers and fellow scholars and learn practical life skills.
Dr. Leman Wasn’t Always Destined for Success
The irony of Dr. Leman’s success story is his poor performance in school. His memories go back as far as first grade when he was sitting in his reading group, watching a girl who was eating paste. He remembers thinking even then, “I know I don’t belong in this group,” yet he continued to struggle. He graduated from high school at the bottom of his class, with SAT scores near the 0 percentile and applied to over 140 colleges and universities, receiving not a single acceptance from any college. He was finally admitted on probation to North Park University in Chicago, but his college career there was short-lived. Though he managed to eke out a C-average during his freshman year, stealing the men’s dorm “conscience fund” as a prank brought him to censure—not laughs—and he was kicked out.
And Suddenly a Transformation Takes Hold
Fortunately, those events put him in the right place at the right time to move forward. While working as a hospital janitor, he met Sande, the woman who would become his wife. Her belief in him in addition to other life-changing experiences led him to zero in on the support his mother had given him as a child and the encouraging words of one high school counselor.
His recall had an impact, and he never looked back. He applied to the University of Arizona, became a scholar with a heavy class load, held a full-time job and made the Dean’s List. Almost four years later he married Sande.
They’ve been married for over 50 years, and still live in Tucson where they raised four daughters and a son. They now have three sons-in-law and four grandchildren. In addition to his fulfilling family life, he has an incredible list of professional accomplishments.
Academic and Professional Accomplishments Take Off
Dr. Leman earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree as well as his doctorate at the University of Arizona. During his tenure there, he served as Assistant Director of High School Relations and was instrumental in establishing the University’s New Start program for underprivileged students. The program has assisted more than 4,000 underprivileged scholars in receiving their bachelor’s degrees and is still going strong today. Dr. Leman also served as an Assistant Dean of Scholars and taught graduate-level courses for the Department of Counseling and Guidance, College of Education.
Two additional awards mark more milestones on Dr. Leman’s journey. The University of Arizona presented him with its highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award. In 2010, North Park University invited him back to award him a Doctorate of Humane Letters.
In spite of his extraordinary list of professional achievements, perhaps the greatest of these is Leman Academy and the opportunities he has provided to so many children. Leman offers a rigorous classical education that promotes critical thinking, instills strong morals, and guides scholars to pursue excellence. This support at the highest level and inspirational role modeling is Dr. Leman’s gift of serving others, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.