The Leonia school district recently had a major change this school year with the arrival of new superintendent Dr. Brian Gatens. The students, faculty, and staff at Leonia High School are ecstatic that Dr. Gatens is in the building and a part of our school and community. Gatens had served as superintendent for 13 years in Emerson. During our first ever Leonia Day, Dr. Gatens agreed to be interviewed for the school newspaper.
When asked why he wanted to come to Leonia specifically, Dr. Gatens said, “When I was looking for a new superintendent job there were 10 other districts with openings but I knew I wanted to come to Leonia. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the students, staff, and faculty.”
Dr. Gatens also expressed to me that the best part of being a superintendent and coming to work everyday is “Playing [his] role alongside everyone here and making sure everyone has a great experience here at school.”
I asked Dr. Gatens what the best part of his job is so far and he responded with “Getting to know all the students,” and he also added that “Mr. Kalander and Dr. Karamanos speak so highly of the senior class.” As a senior myself, I appreciate the shout out. Go class of 2024!
Dr. Gatens has already made his mark and impacted Leonia’s schools in so many positive ways and it’s only September. He greets each and every student at the door in the morning with a big smile and does nothing but encourage us and uplift us in order to be the best versions of ourselves. He shows his support at all athletic events at the high school which means the world to us student athletes.
I have had many conversations with Dr. Gatens throughout the first month of the school year. There was one thing that he said to me that will now forever stick with me which is “Enjoy today. The days are long but the years are short.” He is incredibly correct, enjoy today because it goes by within the blink of an eye.
Dr. Gatens, the Leonia community is so lucky to have you and we appreciate all the hard work you are doing for our schools.