Brendan Leezer has joined the Darlington Community to teach science at the Upper School and serve as head coach of the boys' lacrosse team.
"My philosophy is to make sure that the kids have fun learning," he said. "It can be hard and it can be work, but it also has to be fun. I want them to enjoy learning, especially when it is challenging and difficult. I believe it is our job to instill a lifelong passion to learn in our students and the best way to do that is to make sure that they have fun and enjoy the process!"
Leezer's classes are sure to be the perfect blend of rigor and fun thanks to his personality and sense of humor.
"It is a rare day that you can’t hear me telling a joke or two, and I am also known for the occasional outburst of song between classes!" he said.
Leezer holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, a B.S. in Science from the University of Georgia, an M.Ed. in Science Education from Georgia State University, and certifications in Science (6-12), Earth/Space Science (6-12), Health & P.E. (P-12), and Math (6-12).
"I enjoy teaching because I love to learn and I want to share that passion," he said. "It was fate that actually lead me to teaching. It was not my first job or even my second. I entered laterally while on a wait list for grad school. I ended up loving it so much that I switched gears and changed routes entirely. I have been teaching ever since."
Leezer has taught for 13 years and coached for nine, most recently at Lassiter High School in Cobb County. There, he taught chemistry, physics and Earth systems, while also coaching men's lacrosse.
As a coach, he led Lassiter to five consecutive playoff appearances, including two state finals, and produced a total of six All-Americans, 15 All-State, and two Academic-All American players in five years.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be able to coach lacrosse at Darlington," he said. "It is very exciting to get the opportunity to be a part of growing the program and build upon the preexisting legacy. I am excited to have the chance to expand the program and try to establish a youth program in the community. This should help create a foundation for lacrosse in the Rome area and also provide the opportunity for Darlington to get back to being a dominant force in lacrosse."
When he's not teaching and coaching, Leezer enjoys being active with his family, whether that be through sports, hiking, movies or games. He and his wife, Kristen, have two children, Tristan, 6, and Tessa, 2.
"I enjoy working out, spending time outside and anything related to music," he said. "But to be honest, I appreciate some good quality 'couch' time, too."
As a new Darlington Tiger, Leezer looks forward to building relationships within the school community.
"I feel like I am going back to my roots a little bit," he said. "Darlington reminds me of my high school and it just feels good to step on campus. I have been in Rome for a year now, but commuted all last year to Cobb County. It hasn’t really felt like home here in Rome for me yet, but I feel like Darlington is going to be thing that really changes that!
"I am excited about the class sizes and the opportunity to provide better individualized instruction and/or help," he continued. "I am also looking forward to meeting all of my students and players and building a relationship with them both in the classroom and on the field. I love getting to know students/players and watching them grow!"