826 Valencia is proud to introduce Eric Rose and Kelley Leathers from John O’Connell High School as our June Teachers of the Month! We worked with Mr. Rose, Ms. Leathers, and fifty of their juniors and seniors on this year’s Young Authors’ Book Project. The dedication and hard work of these tireless educators helped make 826 Valencia’s most ambitious project of the year a soaring success.
For three months, Mr. Rose and Ms. Leathers supported and encouraged their students during the grueling process of writing the book. They worked alongside the 826 team as students crafted, wrote, and revised essays based on the American dream. The result of their hard labors is We the Dreamers: Young Authors Reflect on the American Dream, a beautiful book about the American Dream and how it might be changing in light of new economic and social realities. We the Dreamers will be sold in major bookstores nationwide.
This was an enormous project to take on, for teachers and students alike, and Mr. Rose and Ms. Leathers far exceeded the demands of the job. The students wrote drafts upon drafts of essays dealing with difficult, often very personal topics, and they were far better equipped to tackle the assignment with the unfaltering guidance of their teachers.
Mr. Rose is known and respected by his students for his strict, “tough love,” teaching style. He sends them to the office if they act up, calls their parents if they miss class, and always piles on the homework, yet still remains a true friend to his students, swapping jokes and keeping things light. Through his demonstrated devotion and care for their well-being, Mr. Rose helps his students reach levels of success and realize potential they never knew they had.
Ms. Leathers, similarly, is always ready and willing to drop everything to help her students as they juggle the many challenges and responsibilities of high school. She thinks on her feet and always comes up with smart, creative solutions regardless of the problem facing her students. Calm and collected, Ms. Leathers maintains a great bond with her classes, providing them with much-needed support and leadership. She sets the students up for success, and consistently finds new ways to make sure they’re always learning.
We’d like to take this opportunity to honor Mr. Rose and Ms. Leathers for all their hard work on the Young Authors’ Book Project, with their students, and in their community. Thank you for all you do, and congratulations!