LEESBURG — In remembrance of Sandra Allen, former Leesburg Elementary librarian, a memorial gift has been made to the Leesburg Elementary Blazer Boutique Store by her husband, Bob Allen.
The Blazer Boutique is a free clothing bank serving the students’ needs through donations.
Sandra Allen worked at Leesburg Elementary as the librarian for 36 years; she retired in 2007. Her favorite part of working at the elementary school was the students. Sandra was quoted saying, “I love working with the kids. They are wonderful.” Sandra attended Leesburg Elementary and Leesburg High School as a child. There have been five generations of the Allen family that have attended the school. Bob’s parents went to Leesburg Elementary and his mother taught at the school as well.
Sandra began the Leesburg traveling choir that would travel to other elementary schools to sing. She had a beautiful singing voice and directed the children’s choir for 30 years. Many of her students remember spending tie with her; she treated all of them as if they were her own. Sandra also started a reading program called BEAR (Being Excited About Reading). At the end of each school year, Sandra would organize a sleepover in the school gymnasium for all of the children who qualified; she made sure no one was left out. The sleepover usually included pizza, games and activities, a magician and a movie.
When faculty was asked what they remember most about Sandra, they said, “There was no better person to read a book than Sandra. She had a magical way of making a story come to life as well as teaching life lessons along the way.”
“Sandra was the center of the school and community,” a colleague added. “She knew everyone in the school and most of us went to her for advice, or just to talk. She was a great friend and mentor to both staff and students. She could be rough around the edges, but the kids knew she loved them.”
“Sandra was one of the first school librarians in our county, maybe in the state,” another teacher remarked. “She knew several generations of everyone’s families, and many would contact her for advice. She planned many community events as well as school events. Being from a farming family she had many animals that she would bring to school to visit with the children. Sandra was also famous for arranging visits from well-known authors.”
“Sandra was more than the Leesburg school librarian,” said one of Sandra’s former colleagues. “She was the historian for the school. Sandra knew the history of the school’s existence, the families that attended it, and she knew what was happening currently. She was the first to have the television on when the first plane hit the twin towers on 9/11. Knowing the history and current happenings gave her insight as to how it would impact the students and the school. There were no walls around Sandra’s library so she had knowledge of much of the school’s environment. She disciplined and counseled many who entered that area. Adults, as well as children, went to Sandra for advice, comfort, support, explanations and her ongoing awareness of what was happening at Leesburg School. It was said many times, ‘Go ask Sandra.’ She gave her talent and time to many school activities. Sandra had a beautiful singing voice. She would start the singing of ‘Silent Night’ after the Christmas program in the gym, as we all walked back to our classrooms to head home for Christmas break. Sandra made some wonderful memories for everyone at Leesburg School.”
Sandra’s friends all spoke kindly of her and felt blessed to have known her. Sandra was definitely the heart of the school. Leesburg Elementary would like to thank Bob Allen for the memorial gift to the Leesburg Elementary Blazer Boutique Store in honor of Sandra Allen.