On Wednesday, May 18, current and former members of the Ravenscroft Board of Trustees gathered with the school’s leadership team and special guests to celebrate the opening of the Olander Center for Student Life at the A.E. Finley Activity Center and to honor Leonard Johnson, who will retire later this year after 27 years of outstanding service to Ravenscroft.
In his role as Associate Head of School for Business and Finance — a critical role that includes managing the Finance Department, Facilities Department, Protective Services and Auxiliary Services — Johnson has guided the school’s prudent stewardship of resources and worked closely with the Board of Trustees to plan for its financial future. The school’s endowment, board chair Amy Batten noted, has grown from nearly $5M to more than $28M during his tenure.
With a nod to his excellent leadership even in challenging times, Batten said to him, “You manage all aspects of Ravenscroft’s financial, facilities and more with true grace and style, so it is only fitting that your final challenge was to build a 33,000-square-foot building during a global pandemic with massive supply-chain problems. And you still delivered on time and on budget!”
In recognition of Johnson’s service, the board passed a resolution formally recognizing his 27 years of service and listing the many ways his leadership and stewardship have transformed Ravenscroft. “Leonard, you are a gift to our community, and I know I can speak on behalf of the entire board and everyone here tonight as we thank you for your service,” Batten said.
Johnson, with his wife, Lynn, by his side, was then presented with the plaque that will be installed on the Upper School patio, which John and Kristin Replogle and their family gave in his honor two years ago. LJ’s Place has been a favorite gathering spot for Upper School students and classes since it opened, and the plaque serves, as Batten said, “as a permanent reminder on our campus of all that you have done for our community during your time of service and leadership.”
Batten also announced that another lasting tribute has been established in his honor: the Leonard Johnson Endowment Fund, created through the generosity of current and former board members in gratitude for his years of service.
Head of School Doreen Kelly also shared her appreciation, saying, “Leonard, you have been by my side since Day One [of my tenure as Head of School], and I will be forever grateful for your dedicated service, your friendship and your faith. You have done it all at Ravenscroft, and your steady hand has allowed us to thrive in the most challenging of times. We have been blessed by your care, your commitment and your leadership.”
In reflecting on these honors, Johnson — who will remain at Ravenscroft through the end of the year to support the transition to new leadership in Business and Finance — said, “I was surprised and overwhelmed by this very special event. Just to look around me in the Olander Center and see so many trustees, colleagues and friends that have been a part of my life and career for 27 years was both a moment of extreme honor and humility. And then to have an endowment named in my honor was more than I could comprehend.
“I am so grateful for the event and the endowment honor but, more importantly, for the lasting friendships that have emerged over these 27 years and for the wonderful school we all serve. I have been blessed beyond measure, and my sincere hope is that I have played a small role in helping our students be successful in their careers and in life.”