Leo High School’s faculty is fully certified, according to State of Illinois education standards, and fully committed to the academic mission of the school. Teachers are accustomed to coming early and staying late to provide additional instruction for any student who requests it. Along with its academic goals, Leo strives to educate the whole person, stressing citizenship, leadership and good decision-making, all within the context of strong Catholic values.
MR. EDWARD ADAMS
Mr. Adams is athletic director, chairman of the English Department and head track coach at Leo High School. Mr. Adams has coached the Lions to seven state track championships—most of any Catholic or private school—and is a member of the IHSA Coaches’ Hall of Fame. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Western Illinois University and taught and coached at Mendel and St. Martin de Porres high schools before coming to Leo.
MRS. NATASHA ADAMS
A indispensable fixture in the Leo front office since 1996, Ms. Adams serves as Leo’s office manager and administrative assistant for business operations. A Chicago native and a graduate of Richards High School, Ms. Adams also earned a diploma from the Tyler School of Secretarial Sciences. In 2013, the Leo Alumni Association inducted Ms. Adams into the Leo High School Hall of Fame in recognition of her long and meritorious service to Leo, its students and their families.
MR. MICHAEL ANDERSON ’91
Mr. Anderson played football and baseball and wrestled for four years at Leo. He accepted a football scholarship to Purdue University and was a backfield mate of former Leo teammate Corey Rogers before graduating in 1995. A member of the Leo High School Hall of Fame, Mr. Anderson received the Community Service Award from the Leo Alumni Association in 2013 for his tireless efforts in recruiting for Leo. In his second year as a member of the Leo faculty, Mr. Anderson teaches biology and general science and serves as head baseball coach and assistant football coach.
MR. GRAFTON BROWN
Mr. Grafton Brown attended Leo High School, Chicago State University, and Jackson State University. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, majoring in Spanish. After ending an 18-year career in retail, hospital, and industrial pharmacy, Mr. Brown taught high school Spanish for 25 years in the Chicago Public School system, where he served as World Languages department chair in two schools and headed up an Early College smaller learning community in another.
MR. NOAH CANNON ’95
Mr. Cannon was the Lions’ varsity basketball coach from 2003-14. In his first season as coach, Leo won the Class A state basketball championship for the only time in school history. The Lions made a return trip downstate in 2009 and have also appeared in three sectional championship games. A former Leo point guard and a member of the Leo Hall of Fame, Coach Cannon is a graduate of Elmhurst College, where he also played basketball. Mr. Cannon teaches Social Studies.
MR. JAMES EARNER
Mr. Earner is in his third year as Leo’s Business Manager, after 25 years in corporate accounting and finance with PepsiCo and Pepsi America. A graduate of Brother Rice High School, Mr. Earner earned a degree in finance and accounting from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from St. Xavier University. His father, Gene Earner, is a member of the Leo High School Hall of Fame and a Man of the Year honoree by the Leo Alumni Association. Six Earner brothers attended Leo.
MS. JENNIFER FLECK
Jennifer Fleck is thrilled to join the Leo High School as the Teaching and Learning Coordinator. She holds a B.S. in General Biology from the University of New Hampshire, an M.Ed. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Masters in General Administration from Chicago State University. Previously, Ms. Fleck as served as a science teacher and department chair in the Chicago Public Schools, as a School Transformation Facilitator through Diplomas Now, and as an assistant principal at the Academy of St. Benedict the African.
MR. WILLIAM FIGEL ’72
William P. Figel is a guest instructor for Big Shoulders Fund to facilitate and teach Leo’s “News Literacy” program, “Why News Matters” underwritten by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Bill owns Figel Public Relations. The former Chicago Sun-Times sportswriter has experience in print and electronic media. He graduated from Saint Mary’s University, Winona, MN in 1976. In 1984 he received a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism – broadcast division. Bill played basketball and baseball at Leo and Saint Mary’s.
MR. MICHAEL HOLMES ’76
Coach Holmes is Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Director of Admissions and Head Varsity Football Coach at Leo. A 1976 Leo graduate, Coach Holmes was an All-American and All-State football player for the Lions and was an all-conference running back at Colorado University and the University of Illinois, where he earned a double degree in anthropology and history. Coach earned a masters degree in Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A four-time winner of the Lawless Award as Catholic League Coach of the Year, Coach Holmes has worked in urban planning for the City of Chicago and taught and coached at Fenger High School.
MRS. AURORA LATIFI
One of the most popular and enthusiastic figures at Leo, Mrs. Latifi is in her 16th year as a math teacher and rarely misses a Leo event. She also chairs the Math Department and is moderator for the National Honor Society. In that role, she oversaw the process by which Eder Cruz Alvarado became Leo’s first Gates Millennium Scholar in 2011. Mrs. Latifi is a native of Albania and graduated with a degree in mathematics from the University of Tirana. She holds a Master’s in Leadership and Curriculum Development from Concordia University.
MS. TERRA LONDON
Ms. London brings more than 25 years of accounting and communications experience in the business world to her position as Leo’s administrative assistant/tuition coordinator. She works closely with Business Manager James Earner to keep the school’s books balanced. A Chicago native and a graduate of the Academy of Our Lady, Ms. London holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Hampton University.
MR. DAN McGRATH ’68
Mr. McGrath is in his eighth year as Leo’s President, having succeeded the great Bob Foster in 2010 after spending six years on Leo’s Advisory Board. A Chicago native and a 1968 Leo graduate, Mr. McGrath received his degree from Marquette University and worked as a journalist for most of his professional career, serving 13 years as sports editor of the Chicago Tribune before coming to Leo. Mr. McGrath is the author or editor of six books on Chicago sports teams and is a contributing columnist to the Chicago Sun-Times.
MR. MARCUS PASS ’06
Mr. Pass teaches writing and journalism, serves as Leo’s head cross country and assistant track coach and assists with media relations and communications. Mr. Pass was valedictorian for Leo’s graduating class of 2006. He received an undergraduate degree from Benedictine University in 2010 and a Master’s in communications from Columbia College in 2013. Coach Pass has been on the staff for Leo‘s last two state track championships, and the cross country program has made steady gains under his leadership.
MR. SHAKA RAWLS ’93
Mr. Rawls is an accomplished educator with a proven track record of academic success. He most recently served as a school and community administrator in the Chicago Public Schools where he led curriculum planning on instructional leadership teams on both the elementary and high school levels. He also organized and established a system of data collection to evaluate the educational health of a school. Mr. Rawls is the founder of I.M.P.A.C.T. (Inspiring and Motivating Positive Actions for City Teens), an organization dedicated to community engagement and mentoring city students. He has more than 14 years of classroom experience, holding various teaching positions at both the high school and college level. After graduating from Leo High School, Mr. Rawls received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Aurora University. He went on to receive his Masters in Education and Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mr. Rawls is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Educational Policy Studies from UIC, where he will be defending his dissertation next spring, the final step of the Ph.D process. Mr. Rawls is committed to strengthening Leo’s overall academic profile, enhancing each Leo student’s experience here and making us more competitive with our public, Catholic and charter school rivals.