Since she was named the new Weekday Religious Education coordinator, Joyce Leach has been busy — but she describes it as a good busy.
Leach took over Aug. 1 and has been working to get things in place before schools began.
Leach, a Pennsylvania native, came to Indiana in 1978 and relocated to Royal Center in 2001. It is there she began working with adults with disabilities and after that private elderly care. Although she was introduced to WRE seven years ago, her tenure started five years ago when she accepted a position to teach a third-grade program at Logansport schools.
After Logansport discontinued the program four years ago, she remained on the board as a director and most recently was board secretary. Leach noted she is looking forward to picking up dialogue with Logansport schools about the possibility of getting the program back.
Leach said she has been busy connecting with school principals to set up class schedules; making sure the equipment on the bus is working; purchasing the necessary supplies for the bus and doing research to become familiar with the “released time” concept and state laws, which provide a way for religious education to take place in public schools during the school day.
There are 16 seats on the bus with desks and two students can fit at each desk. The bus is equipped with supplies and a handicap lift.
Leach has learned about the program with the help of former coordinator, Wendell Propes, who is continuing on the WRE board of directors. Propes, who was coordinator for about five years, said working with Leach has been great.
“She’s very easy to work with and has a high energy level,” Propes said. “She has a passion for anything Christian and her heart is out there for the kids.”
There are 30-minute classes for fourth graders and four- to six- week programs for third graders. There are programs at Galveston, Caston, Pioneer and Thompson elementary schools.