214. Win Lunch with School Superintendent, Tom Leonard

2 mins read

When we recently polled our readers in the “Best of Barrington Survey” about who they’d most like to have lunch with, one of the people who received the most votes was Barrington School District 220 Superintendent, Dr. Tom Leonard. Inspired, and with only days left until the first day of the new school year, I thought I’d pick up the phone and ask Dr. Leonard out to lunch.  Not only did he agree, he offered to host, and then he asked if I wanted to invite six friends.  Sounds like a party to me!

Now that we’ve set a date, I’m looking for a few people to join me.  So who wants to have lunch with Dr. Leonard at District 220 headquarters at noon on Friday, August 24th? He says he’s up for answering any questions we may have about the district and the new school year.

If you’d like to meet the guy in charge of District 220 schools in his office over lunch, here’s one way to do it: In the comments box below, just tell us any of the questions you’d most like to ask him about his plans for the school district.

Would you like to know more about the district’s brand new, state-of-the-art “Infinite Campus” online information system?  Do you have questions about their 2012 goals for enrollment, class size or student achievement?  Maybe you’re just curious about Dr. Leonard’s favorite books, musicians or why he decided to get involved with education.  Did you know he is also an accomplished saxophone and piano player?  I hear he loves to talk about jazz and other kinds of music so there’s lots we can chat about and, in this informal and friendly setting, the sky is the limit!

Here’s how it works:  If you submit a question for Dr. Leonard in the comments box below, we’ll enter your question into a drawing and randomly select six names (with the help of my 3-year-old daughter, Grace).

We will draw and reveal the six chosen names next week on Friday, August 17th. Those six people (and I) are invited to sit down to get to know Dr. Leonard a little better over lunch in his office at noon the following Friday, August 24th.  Our students should be settling into their new classrooms by then after their first day back on August 21st.

I’ll follow up here at 365Barrington.com by letting you know how he answers the questions asked and it’s as simple as that!

So I’ll get started.  One thing I’d like to learn from Dr. Leonard is more about the district’s new Elementary Math in Focus Curriculum that they’re debuting this fall.  Math in Focus is the U-S edition of Singapore’s top-ranking math program.  The new curriculum offers a more hands-on approach to learning, which includes using blocks, cubes, drawing pictures or acting out lessons to teach math concepts to students in Grades 1-5.  I’m just a few years away from having a first grader so I’m definitely interested.

I look forward to learning from your questions, too.  So thanks for entering our first ever “Win Lunch with School Superintendent, Tom Leonard” contest.  Good luck getting your students ready for the first day of school and I’ll be sure to bring my spiral notebook, number 2 pencils and protractor to take notes during our lunch date later this month.


  1. If funding was procured for a archery program at the high school,how would we be able to get archery in the curriculum?

  2. My question would be: Why, with the technology we have today, do parents have such a difficult time getting homework assignments and textbooks online. This is available at the high school level but not the elementary level. When my kids are home sick I have to wait until the end of the day to be able to get that days or the next days homework assignments and not all textbooks are available online thereby causing the child to not be able to complete the assignment at home. This delay causes the child to be behind in school, it is a day wasted and by the time they get the assignments, due to their illness, they are too tired to work on it with the same alertness that they would have had during the day. This may seem trivial when most children are out only once or twice a year, but for those who have pre-existing health issues like asthma any other such diseases, the children who suffer with these conditions can be sick frequently and be out of school for 2-3 or more days a week. They can even be hospitalized which I can assure you as a parent of two children who have been hospitalized, you do not want to leave their side to run to the school and get homework assignments, but on the other had you do not want them to get behind either. Online access to assignments and textbooks for all students in the 220 district would not only be advantageous to parents of kids with health issues but it would also allow parents of healthy kids to know what their children need to complete and by what date so they don’t get behind either.

  3. Dr Leonard, I remember enjoying very much the article you wrote about how you arrive at the decision to call a snow day for the district. Your writing voice is very “real”. I’d love a chance to spend some time with you in person.

  4. So excited for this new school year to begin! My question would be… How many bottles of 5 hour energy drinks do you go through in a day? :). With such a busy schedule already in place and then add the surprises that tend to happen at any given time – yet you take it with such ease, or a really good show of taking it with ease.

  5. Dr. Leonard, I was wondering if you could provide some insight into the results of the District 220 Community Surveys conducted last spring. Have those results been published or will they be shared with the community? Based on the results, do you anticipate the BOE or your Administration will make any adjustments or changes in day to day matters or long term strategy/goals. What aspects of the survey did you find most interesting, concerning, challenging?

  6. Why does our school district still have half day kindergarten? Full day kindy is pretty much the norm everywhere in Chicagoland. Cannot imagine kids get to learn that much in 2.5 hours.

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