Student Nomination Story

It was the start of seventh grade at Richmond middle school when I had Mr. Leland as my STEM and social studies teacher. I was upstairs for most of my classes now, I was scared going up there because I hadn't had a couple of the teachers. I walked into my first class with Mr. Leland and the room was full of computers, maps of the world, sports posters, and a couple big desks in the middle. My first class with Mr. Leland was so fun, I looked forward to it everyday. He would always crack jokes about anything involving sports, the lessons, and other teachers including Mr. Hogan the science teacher. Mr. Leland was pretty tall compared to me in seventh grade. He was built like a tank. He was so in shape that we would always make jokes that he was more in shape than our gym teacher. During our lesson about Africa, Mr. Leland would always play Africa by Toto because it involved the lesson and it was his favorite song, and now I basically know every word thanks to him. In STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) class we would do fun projects that taught us about how engineers would make certain builds. My favorite project was the rocket. We had to make a rocket using water bottles. I used two smart water bottles and snow cones. It was launch day for our rockets and my partner Max and I were nervous because we weren’t sure if our rocket would go high. But sure enough when we launched our rocket it went so high to the sky you couldn't see it. After it came down, it hit someone's house and we lost it. For the next two years Mr. Leland asked me to remake the bottle rocket so he could show how good mine was. When I was a freshman, my sister was taking that same class and kept begging me to tell her how I made it (but no one knows). I told her she can't just copy mine you figure it out. I want to say thank you Mr. Leland to everything you have done for me. You were funny in class always making everyone laugh even on my bad days. You taught t me so many things throughout the years that I was in your class. You showed me that I was good at doing things hands on and am grateful for that.

Ross Mann

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