Janna Leeper is one of four candidates vying for a spot on the New Philadelphia School Board of Education.
This is Leeper’s first time running for an elected position and she explained she’s always dedicated her life to helping others and wants to do so in a new way.
Leeper is a mother of two children and is a life-long resident of New Philadelphia.
She is a licensed independent social worker with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Akron and her Master’s Degree in Social Services Administration from Case Western Reserve University.
She noted she’s worked with a variety of populations including those from low-income households, those with special needs and provided therapy to foster care children. Leeper currently works for a private practice providing individual and family therapy.
Leeper explained that education has always been a passion of hers as she comes from a family of educators including her husband, her mother, her sister and her brother-in-law.
“The position just seems to fit with my philosophy that with a good education, with a strong support system the individual can grow and strengthen themselves.”
Leeper added that it is her belief that schools are the cornerstone of the community and that strong schools equal a strong community.
As for her main goal should she be elected, Leeper explained she’d like to become a bridge to better connect the community with the school administration.
“Let people know when changes are going to happen, why changes are happening, what’s the vision of the school, where are we going.”
The social, emotional well-being of the children attending New Philadelphia City Schools is also a priority for Leeper.
“Being aware of the struggles of what kids are facing in schools nowadays from anxiety to the stresses that they’re under, to bullying and drug issues,” said Leeper. “I want to be able to boost the focus on what’s happening within the schools so we’re getting not only an academic focus but also a focus on other important needs such as the social, emotional well-being of kids.”
She added that she hopes to have a chance to continue to capitalize on the strengths within the district while working to always be better and do more for the kids, who she noted are the community’s greatest asset.
Michaela Madison Reporting
Joe Stephon – Did not return a call for comment.
Donald Kemp – Incumbent. Did not return a call for comment.