Change is always a scary experience, but for Mrs. Leanna Block, the journalism, English 120, ERWC, and English teacher at Helix Charter High School, she can’t be more excited.
After 10 years of teaching at Helix, she has decided to continue her career internationally in Ecuador, taking her dedication, work habits, and care over to a school with support from her friends and family.
“It was like someone coming [to me] with a dream job,” Block said, smiling widely.
With the help of a former Helix teacher, Block was able to get a job for both her and her husband in the international school when they first approached her over a year ago. “We told [the school] that if they can’t offer a position to my husband, as well, then we just couldn’t take it.”
She explained how the school called her back months later and was able to offer employment for him.
“My first teaching experience was in another country,” she said, fondly remembering all of the places she used to teach. “For me, I always thought I would go back to an international classroom.”
“[Block] kept me in the loop, and things started to develop in February or March – she said that it was a possibility” recalled Mr. Daniel Baits, the head of the English department.
“There’s this great deal of ambivalence [for me]. We’re losing a great teacher, and I’ll miss her because she’s a friend of mine.” -there was a bittersweet tone to Baits’ voice- “but it’s a neat opportunity for her family. I’m happy for her family, but we’ll miss her, I’ll miss her, and the school will miss her.”
Mr. Michael Ried, junior and senior English teacher, walked in on this moment. “It’s really sad,” he said with a sigh, “but she’s going to go change the world.”
“I was probably the first one to know,” Mrs. Alicia Gibson, English teacher and Aspire coordinator, said, “I was super sad. We’re buddies! But I’m excited for her. The opportunity for her is really cool, and her work ethic and her ability to create curriculum that’s interesting for kids will be really helpful.”
“It’s going to be a really hard adjustment not seeing her everyday,” Gibson said sadly. “But it’s a great opportunity for them and I’m excited.”
“We’ll miss her… her commitment to the school and willingness to take on projects,” Baits remembered, “She’s a planner and can get things set up.”
“I’m going to miss the comradery that Helix has,” Block said.
“I knew that she was tough, that she had high expectations for her students,” said Mrs. Laurel Vozely, her student teacher. “But I think that just makes everyone around her better. She really taught me a lot, and I’m thankful I got to work for her as her last student teacher.”
Although Helix will miss her, the school is excited for her and her family. Even her mom was excited, Block said. “It was nice to hear her approval. […] It’s always been a dream of mine, and it’s sad to leave but I can’t be more thrilled.”