Dr. William John (Bill) Leary Jr.(1940 - 2013)

Dr. William John Leary Jr. (Bill) 72, of Glenside Pennsylvania passed away peacefully at Abington Memorial Hospital on August 2nd, 2013. Dr. Leary was born October 2, 1940 in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania to parents Marie Alice Johnston Leary and William John Leary Sr. He was the first of five children. He spent his childhood in Berwyn PA, graduating from Conestoga High School in 1958. He attended The Pennsylvania State University from 1958-62, graduating with a double major of Education and Psychology. From 1962-1964 he taught English at Great Valley High School in Malvern, PA. In 1964 he was awarded an NDEA Institute fellowship to return to Penn State for a Master's Degree in Counseling. From 1965-1968 he worked as a guidance counselor at Upper Merion High School in King of Prussia, PA. He then worked at Carnegie-Mellon University as an Assistant Director of Admissions while pursuing his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh from 1968-71. In 1970 he was awarded the Maurice J. Thomas Fellowship for doctoral study at University of Pittsburgh. He received his PhD in Ed. Administration in 1972. During this time - from 1971-1974 - he served as Principal of Hampton Senior High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Leary married Barbara Anne Buchanan of West Chester PA in 1961. He is survived by Barbara and their 4 children: William John Leary III of Atlanta GA, Michael Buchanan Leary of Wilton, ME. James Christopher Leary of Rochester MN and Gretchen Elizabeth Leary of Portland OR as well as 5 grandchildren. Bill is also survived by his 4 siblings Dorothy Daly, David Leary, Donna Eaves, J. Terry Leary and 10 nieces and nephews. In 1973 he became Superintendent of Waynesboro Area School District where he served for 10 years. In 1983 he accepted the superintendence at East Penn School District in Emmaus, PA. In 1992 he became Superintendent of Springfield Township School District in Oreland PA where he retired in 2002 after 10 years of service. Upon retirement he enjoyed working as a Superintendent search consultant. During his career, Dr. Leary received many honors and awards as an educator. These awards included: - Member of the Board of Directors for the College of Education Alumni Society at Penn State For 18 years, serving as President from 1988-1990. - He was on the Executive Board of the Lehigh Valley Business-Education Partnership 1988-1992. - He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators 1980-85 - Chairperson of State Legislative Committee for PASA 1996-1998 and 2001-2002 - Award of Distinguished Service (1983) and Founding Member of the College of Education Advisory Council at Shippensburg University of PA, 1977-83 - Recipient of the Excellence in Education Award from Penn State University in 1980 - Citizen of the Year for 1999 in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, by the Springfield Township Rotary Club. - Co-founder of the Springfield Township Citizen's Partnership, a consortium of community agencies that work together to provide support for and programs aimed at, improving life for students and adults in Springfield Township. During retirement, Dr. Leary enjoyed spending time in Venice, Florida. He also enjoyed traveling, playing golf, boating, and cooking. He deepened his appreciation for art and loved being around family and friends. He will be remembered most significantly for mentoring young educators in the pursuit of career development and leadership excellence. A celebration of his life will be held at Flourtown Country Club Sunday August 25th from 5-7pm.In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the College of Education at Penn State University, 247 Chambers Building, University Park PA 16802-3206 in his memory.

Published in Montgomery Newspapers on Aug. 11, 2013