Parents want Brasington to stay in Leonard

Leonard Elementary School parents waited through the school board meeting on May 11 to share their opinions and concerns about their principal Joyce Brasington leaving to go to Daniel Axford Elementary in the fall.
They began with the moment they stepped inside Leonard and felt it was a different atmosphere because of the staff and the leadership from Brasington.
‘An interesting thing happened when we started at Leonard,? Beth Varner started. ‘We drove by the school, I said ‘wow, I am not sure I want my son going there. It doesn’t have much curb appeal.??
Then, she took a step inside, walked around the school and knew she had found a diamond in the rough.
She noted Leonard was special because of the consistency, the staff and the leadership.
Many more continued to speak and noted how important it was Brasington not only knew their children’s names, but asked them on their first day of school.
‘My kids love her,? Margaret Koski. ‘We all identify and have a personal relationship with her. She speaks with all of the families and she knows all of our kids.?
Koski noted the programs Brasington started to get kids more involved, including a green project to recycle. ‘I don’t think it’s fair to take her away,? she noted.
Addison Township Supervisor Bruce Pearson walked up to the podium and addressed the board and the audience. ‘Joyce Brasington is a very special person to us.?
He had received calls from worried parents before he officially heard about it from Brasington. He left the office and went up to the elementary school to hear the news directly from her.
Brasington told him it was true, she was asked to go to Daniel Axford.
‘You have to understand,? Pearson told the board members, ‘Leonard doesn’t let just anyone get into their heart.?
With Addison Township and Leonard so far away from the rest of the Oxford schools, the residents felt distanced from them.
Pearson noticed the community feeling more support from the district when Brasington took over.
‘You need the community support, you need my support, but I need your help too,? he noted. ‘You can’t tear my community apart. You can’t tear the heart out and in this instance you are doing that. I don’t know why you would take her away after Leonard winning the Blue Ribbon.?
Another issue for the parents was the incoming principal, Dianna Zink, Director of Oxford Child Care and Early Childhood Center. Parents heard Zink would still be spending some of her time at Leonard and at the child care centers.
‘Why are our students, why are we less important,? questioned Varner. ‘I feel like I have been cut off at the knees in the last week. Why is my son any less important to have a part-time principal??
Superintendent Dr. William Skilling addressed the issue by noting Zink would be a full-time principal at Leonard and would only work a few hours on child care. He could not confirm the set number of hours she would be working for child care. He said Brasington was asked to go to Daniel Axford because of the outstanding job she has done at Leonard.
‘If this is what Joyce wants, I will give her the biggest send-off,? Pearson said. ‘I know Joyce, this is not what she wants.?