I was born and raised in Crowley, Louisiana. I spent many of my summer days in the rice fields of my Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Joe Ronkartz. These are very fond memories of the day-to-day life on a rice farm during the growing and harvesting season.

I am a graduate of Notre Dame High School – Class of 1977. I went on to LSU-Eunice where I earned an Associate of Science degree in 1979. I then attended LSU in Baton Rouge where I earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education in 1981.

I am married to Jude Leonards (your friendly neighborhood postal clerk) and have three wonderful sons: Nicholas, Timothy, and Thomas. I also have three wonderful daughters-in-law: Leigh Ann McMullen, Holly Bofinger, and Dani Borel. They have given me four beautiful grandchildren: Jack, Nathan, Amelia, and Louie. All of these people are the light of my life, along with my other family and friends.

My professional life as a teacher began at Estherwood Elementary where I taught for one year (1981-1982). My husband, Jude, graciously accepted the fact that I wished to stay home for a while to raise our children, so I put my teaching career on hold for a few years.

In 1987 I returned to teaching with a position at Redemptorist Catholic. I happily remained there until 2005. Realizing that I needed to think about my retirement income, I decided to venture back into the public school system. By the grace of God, I was hired to teach at Egan Elementary for the 2005-2006 school year. I have been there ever since, and continue to enjoy working to further the education and character of my students.

I appreciate the honor of serving as the 80th International Rice Festival Children’s Parade Marshal. I would like to think I represent all the teachers of Acadia Parish who work so diligently to teach and guide our children.