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Leon Oman retires after 28 years in Community Education at Andersen Elementary

Leon Oman retires after 28 years in Community Education at Andersen Elementary

By Harvey Winje Two hundred people greeted and cheered Leon Oman on his last day of 28 years as a Minneapolis Schools Community Education Coordinator at Andersen School in the Phillips Community. His years as a community educator brought together his passion for education, his seven years experience as a social worker, as well as, his involvement in citizen participation in the Rice Park neighborhood. Five presenters reminisced about years spent, experiences shared and generally agreed that there were no skeletons about which they could “roast” Leon. However, they altered a shared experience while on a car trip in order to be sure we all knew Leon had made at least one mistake in his career. The Webster Open School Cafeteria was gaily decorated setting the mood for an upbeat celebration that included several of Leon”'s family members, Phillips Community residents, community leaders from many neighborhoods, past interns, students, current and former colleagues and many, many friends. Paul Boranian attended the event. He was the founder of Community Education in Minneapolis, its director for many years and was the person who hired Leon 28 years ago. Community Education”'s current Director, Jack Tamble also paid a tribute to Leon. The program was one and a half hours long as attendees shared personal experiences and examples of Leon”'s gentle demeanor whether he is handling parking or curriculum issues, interfacing with the day school, student conduct, or sustaining relationships with many community groups in South Minneapolis. One former principal said he recalled that when he first came to Andersen, he discovered that meeting new neighbors, interfacing with personnel for the first time, or bringing up new ideas were all made more credible if he just mentioned Leon”'s name first. He then said that he discovered the same was true when he was reassigned years later to a North Minneapols school. Yes, indeed Leon”'s name [...]

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