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Alumni Spotlight: Angie (Leffler) Therber ‘84



Angie (Leffler) '84 and Joe Therber, President of Scecina, with their five children, all graduates of Scecina.


Name: Angie (Leffler) Therber
Year of Scecina Graduation: 1984
College/University: Butler University 1988, IUPUI 2014
Degree(s): Bachelor of Science (Butler), Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing (IUPUI), currently obtaining Master of Arts in English at IUPUI
Current Position: English/language arts teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes School, consulting and contract work

By: Angie Therber

When Beth Murphy of the Scecina communications office asked me for information about an alumni story about me that she would post on the website and share with the Scecina community, my first reaction was to duck and run. If I were the topic of an alumni article, anyone who knows me would think any or all of the following:

  • Hasn’t she been hanging around that place forever?
  • Doesn’t her husband do something there?
  • Didn’t she send her kids there?
  • Did she ever do anything not connected with that place?

Reflecting upon those awkward assumptions, I realized that I have chosen to continue my involvement with Scecina as an alumnus. I have chosen to pursue my teaching career in Catholic education on the Eastside of Indianapolis. My husband and I have chosen to live on the Eastside and to educate our children at Scecina. All of those choices have developed not because of my familial connections to Scecina, but despite them.

My father, Ken Leffler, was a teacher, coach and administrator at Scecina from 1966 until 1988 when he died young and somewhat suddenly. He was unique. He was unconventional. He made many people who knew him laugh, and he made many angry. He made me embarrassed and the focus of unwanted attention throughout high school -- how does a freshman girl answer a senior football player when he blocks her path down the freshman hall and asks, “So, does your dad make you drop and do 20 push-ups at home every night before dinner?” There were times when I felt like graduation night, 1984, would see me grab the diploma, sprint down the aisle, out the north double-doors of the gym, and as far away as possible, never to return. But I did not.

This testifies to the impact attending Scecina had on my academic, social, and spiritual development. That impact trumped the teenage feelings of self-consciousness, present for any kid, but magnified for me. The positive influence of that place in my life, that institution created by the grassroots campaign of neighborhood Catholic families in the 1950s, those who had the foresight to build a framework based upon the selfless example of Father Thomas Scecina, influenced my career choice, my dedication to Catholic education, and mine and my husband’s choice to live on the Eastside of Indianapolis.


How was Scecina a positive impact on your life?
Four years is such a short time from the adult perspective, but those four years at Scecina forged very strong bonds. There are classmates of mine that I don’t see often, but if I do, we pick up right where we left off, connected by that bond. The emphasis on values like serving others, working to better the community, living in faith, caused students of my era to work together in and out of the classroom. The types of friendships formed within those experiences are ever-lasting.

How did your experience at Scecina impact your faith and values?
When my dad became ill and then passed away a couple of months after, my family and I experienced amazing support, love, and testaments to our faith through that experience, much of it from the Scecina community. Several generations of my family have taught, coached, and been administrators in Catholic education. We all have been dedicated to teaching faith, values, and the importance of human compassion within the academic setting. Experiencing the fruits of my dad’s labors in Catholic education through the kindness of those he taught and otherwise encountered during his career solidified my choice to teach in the Catholic school system.

What advantages do you see Scecina as having over other schools?
As an alumnus and an educator in a Catholic school, I have a unique perspective on advantages of Scecina. As it was when I was a student in the ‘80s and still is now, when my eighth-grade students explore attending Scecina, they are welcomed with individual attention to their academic potentials, their social/extra-curricular interests, and their learning needs. The school welcomes all who desire a Catholic education. It models the mission of teaching students to serve others by how it serves its students and community.


Angie graduated from Butler University in 1988 with a degree in secondary education with a focus on English. She earned her graduate certificate in teaching writing from IUPUI in 2014 and also is obtaining her masters in English at IUPUI. She does consulting for the Hoosier Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, and contract work for a newsletter publishing company. She soon will be presenting a session on “The Writing Teacher as Writer” at the 2016 Indiana Non-Public Education Conference.

Angie is teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade English and language arts at Our Lady of Lourdes School. As the sole language arts teacher in the middle school, she teaches creative writing, literature, grammar, speaking, and word study curricula. She is also the head girls’ tennis coach at Scecina.

Angie and Joe have five children, all who graduated, or will graduate, from Scecina, Frank '08, Mary '11, Suzannah '12, Charlie '13, and Will '17.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Judy Neidlinger wrote:
Having known Angie from the beginning I found this article reaffirming to my thoughts and admiration for her watching her grow into the amazing person she has become. We are all blessed to have Angie making a big difference in the lives of her students, future alumni and friends. SMHS is a very special place because of the caring staff who have educated and formed so many dedicated to the values we profess. Keep up the excellent work SMHS and Angie. We need you.

Fri, April 1, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

2. Tom Hammond wrote:
Great article and very proud of you and your entire family Angie!

Sat, April 2, 2016 @ 9:18 AM

3. Victoria (Henninger) Hendley, Class of 1991 wrote:
In addition to her many personal and professional accomplishments and accolades, Angie was such an amazing tennis coach! I'm so happy to know she is still coaching at Scecina today as I have so many wonderful memories with my years attending Scecina (Class of 1991) and as having Mrs. Therber as my coach and mentor! She encouraged all of us to simply do our best and taught us valuable life lessons that I strive to live by today. Never give up! Keep going! I sincerely appreciated her genuine care and concern in treating all of us as equals both on and off the court. A very bright moment for me was receiving the Mental Attitude award from her on Awards day...which, in return, was a true reflection of Angie's coaching!

Sat, April 2, 2016 @ 1:07 PM

4. Nick Petrone wrote:
WAY TO GO, Angie!! What a blessing you are to our community!
Thank you for sharing your story. I am grateful to you and all that you do in word and deed to make this a better world, a better community and an example for all of us of how to lead a faithful and impactful life.
Peace,
LNP3

Sat, April 2, 2016 @ 1:46 PM

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