'); } -->
A retired New York educator who now calls Lake Wylie home, Frank van Leer epitomizes what it means to be a champion for public education through his direct involvement with students, teachers and administration in the Clover School District. On Aug. 20, he was recognized by the South Carolina School Boards Association and presented a Champions for Public Education award.
Whether reading with elementary students, serving as a mentor and lunch buddy with Oakridge Middle or Clover High students, or forging bonds with students at the district’s alternative school Blue Eagle Academy, the relationships he has with students is invaluable, school district staff say.
Through the River Hills Lions Club, van Leer has provided free books to all third-grade students at Kinard Elementary for the three years and has a vision to expand the program to reach more students at the Title I school. He’s a fixture at Oakridge Middle where he’s helped the administration start a mentoring program to involve community members. Also, at OMS he can be found vision screening the school’s 300 seventh graders. He has served as a community member of two School Improvement Councils in addition to his involvement with the district’s AdvancED accreditation team.
During the award presentation, Rock Hill school board member and region 13 representative for the SCSBA Ann Reid read the plaques inscription which states: “in grateful appreciation of your diligent and tireless efforts to champion the mission of South Carolina public schools in Clover School District.”