Greetings, Pleasant Hill families!
My name is Patricia Leong and this will be my first year teaching at Pleasant Hill.
I grew up in the Finger Lakes area of western New York. I spent most of my youth attending outdoor summer camps and I eventually became a camp counselor. This is how I first realized my passion for working with children, providing them with the support they need, and creating safe spaces to learn and grow.
I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a concentration in French language and culture in 2007. During my time as an undergraduate I studied abroad in London. England for a semester and then in Nice, France. These experiences inspired me to see even more of the world after college, so I decided to take a job teaching English in Seoul, South Korea in 2009.
Teaching in Korea reminded me of how much I enjoyed working with children in New York. I was eager to learn more about childhood development, student engagement, literacy development, creative instructional strategies, and curriculum design. Therefore, I decided to pursue a serious career in teaching.
In 2017, I received a master’s degree from Framingham State University in Massachusetts for international education. I also gained experience working at two private elementary schools in Seoul where I was able to complete my student teaching for a license in K-6 education from the University of West Florida.
After thirteen years of living and working in Seoul, South Korea, it was time to move back to the United States with my fiancé, Spenser Ford, who will be teaching 4th grade at Pleasant Hill. He grew up in the Des Moines area and it was his love for this city that drew us back. I am very excited to learn more about the Des Moines area.
We love to spend our time together camping, hiking, long-distance running, cycling and traveling. I also enjoy most studio arts, cooking, card games and yoga. I look forward to meeting many of you and to be part of this community!
I graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa with a BA in Elementary Education and endorsements in reading and special education. I taught third grade for four years in Manning, Iowa, and five years of fourth grade at Northwest Elementary in Ankeny, Iowa, before becoming a stay-at-home mom and Children’s Ministry Director at NewLife Church in the summer of 2008. I came back to teaching again in the fall of 2013 as the part-time interventionist here at Pleasant Hill Elementary. I returned to the classroom full-time as a third grade teacher in the fall of 2015. I’m looking forward to my eighth year teaching third grade at Pleasant Hill Elementary. Each year brings its own set of challenges, but I love learning new things to help all kids be successful!
My husband, Scott, and I live in Altoona with our kids, John and Emma. John is a senior at Southeast Polk, and Emma is in ninth grade. I enjoy riding bikes, reading, playing games, doing puzzles, and watching my kids participate in marching band and show choir.