Benefit for Chuck Leonard, August 20


Mr. Chuck Leonard, currently a special education teacher at Willowbrook Middle School, has been diagnosed with Nasal Pharyngeal Carcinoma, a rare cancer in the United States.

Alongside a GoFundMe, Amy Nord, Jim Creighton, Christian and Leigh Leonard have organized a fundraiser.

Coach's Corner, located 622 S State St, Belvidere, IL, will be hosting the event on August 20th, 2022, to help financially support the teacher in his fight. 

Mr. Leonard has been a teacher in the Prairie Hill School District (PHSD) since 1999. Beginning as a 4th grade teacher, then transitioning, in 2013, to Willowbrook' s 5th grade team and finally to special education in 2018.

Diagnosed in April of 2022, Mr. Leonard's cancer has localized to his face and throat. The cancer has not spread and is 80% survivable with rounds of radiation treatment and chemotherapy. 

However, due to the treatment Mr. Leonard will have to undergo, his summer will be spent "navigating to and from Madison while he continues intensive radiation and chemotherapy."

In a recent update to his work family, Mr. Leonard released this statement.

"I serve a great God… I am far from a great man, but have often found that when I try to model Christ, I tend to be the best version of myself. I know my life, and ultimately the lives of all of my children, are in his hands and I am sure there is no better place to be.”

Two fellow Willowbrook teachers, Mrs. Kelli Houghton, the recent 2022 Golden Apple recipient and Mr. Rhines, Willowbrook veteran, have provided some words on Mr. Leonard as a teacher, coworker and person.

Chuck Leonard, third from left, bottom row. Mike Rhines, fifth from left bottom row. Kelli Houghton, standing, far right.

"Mr. Leonard is a real stand-up guy with a heart of gold! He works hard at making students feel welcome in his classroom, and goes the extra mile connecting his students with learning. As a team member, Chuck is easy to collaborate with, and is often seen walking the WMS hallways with a smile. As a teacher, he builds a strong rapport with each and every one of his students making learning come to life with his fun antics."

Mr. Leonard is a teacher, leader and most importantly an inspiration to everyone he knows.

Every student of his, past and present, surely wishes for a speedy recovery and to see him in the classroom again soon.

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