Norman D. Leonard Retires

It is not the end, but it is just the beginning!

Last August 15, 2014, SDSU’s Storm Hall West Patio was alive and filled with people who love, care, and honor Mr. Norman Leonard, who we fondly call Norm. Before his retirement, he was the Outreach Director of Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC-SDSU) where he served as a workshop facilitator and site co-director of San Diego Area International Languages Network (SAILN) in San Diego, Orange, and Imperial Counties.  In this field, he was able to weld his legacy by supporting the less commonly taught languages.

The Filipino educators, administrators, and community looked up to him for his untiring endeavor to support the Filipino language.  He was one of the backbones of Council for Teaching Filipino Language and Culture (CTFLC).

Ms. Mary Rose Peralta, CTFLC President, presented to Norm CTFLC’s Plaque of Appreciation which reads: “Thank you most sincerely for your devotion, commitment, and patience for the many years of visionary guidance you gave our  organization, the (CTFLC); for your exemplary dedicated service and leadership in preparing teachers for foreign language teaching; for your outstanding work ethics that have driven this organization to a level that has prospered; for inspiring, encouraging, motivating, supporting, and challenging those under your tutelage; and for your untiring service, your loyalty, and friendship that will be long remembered."

The day’s celebration started with the Welcome and Opening Remarks by Dr. Mary Ann Lyman-Hager, Director of LARC and followed by Mr. Alan Svidal and Mr. Chris Brown’s sharing on the Life & Professional Accomplishments of the honoree.

The food speaks of diversity and of people whom he worked with throughout his profession.  On the table begging to be eaten were crispy and flaky spanakopita from Greece, very filling Philippine prepared empanada, Japanese grilled vegetables, sweet and tangy lemon pie, rich chocolate brownies, freshly sliced fruits, and other very sumptuous delicacies.  

While feasting, Mr. Leonard and diverse visitors were entertained by Roxanne Prado, a student from Mar Vista High School, who sang “Bakit Pa” and “Hawak Kamay”.  In addition, the Confucius Institute, coordinated by Mr. Jonathan Lee, performed the Tea Ceremony to show gratitude to Norman’s contribution to educational society.  Dr. Noha Ireiqat and Mr. Halim Mostafa of the Arabic Community - Based Programs, Dr. Rebecca Sapien-Melchor of California World Language Project Southern Area International Language Network (SAILN), Ms. Mary Waldron from San Diego Unified School District, Mr. Mike McVeigh of California Language Teachers Association Foreign Language Council of San Diego (CLTA), and  Ms. Rosalina V. Idos together with the Council for Teaching Filipino Language and  Culture (CTFLC) members paid tribute and honor to Mr.  Leonard.  Finally, in between of community acknowledgement, Mar Vista High School Pan-Asian Club under Ms. Marilin Escalante, performed Sakuting, Planting Rice, Malong, and Tinikling dances.  Also, Ms. Julita Biares’ Family Ensemble wowed the audience with their musical cultural presentation “Canon in D Minor”.

Culminating the night’s gathering was the Award Presentation and Toast. Special acknowledgement goes to the Event Committee & Collaborators made up by Dr. Lyman-Hager, Dr. Sapien-Melchor, Mr. Alan Svidal, Ms. Shahnaz Ahmadeian, Ms. Raquel Cardoso, Ms. Marcia Ledezman-Macias, Ms. Sally Idos, Mr. Ador Idos, Ms. Marilin Escalante, Ms. Julita Biares, and the rest of the team - thank you so much! 

It was a night to remember!  

It’s the beginning of something meaningful!

The road never ends, but another intersection to take!

Kapamilyang Norm, MABUHAY!