Leonard wins 2013 Southeast Salute to Excellence Counselor of the Year Award


Pattonville Student Named 2013 Suggs Scholar

by News Bureau on Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013


ST. LOUIS, Mo., Sept. 16, 2013 — Chat Leonard, a counselor at Metro Academic and Classical High School, was named the 2013 Southeast Missouri State University Salute to Excellence Counselor of the Year Sept. 13 at the St. Louis American’s Salute to Excellence celebration at America’s Center.

Leonard was chosen by the Southeast Office of Admissions. She is a counselor at Metro Academic and Classical High School. 

Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, presented Leonard with the award, which recognizes counselors who have supported first-generation and historically underrepresented students in postsecondary education.

In addition, Justin Robinson of Bridgeton, Mo., was named the recipient of the fifth annual 2013 Donald M. Suggs Scholarship Award. This award is presented annually to recognize a student in the St. Louis metropolitan area who has demonstrated the potential for academic achievement, leadership and commitment to their community. It provides a full-tuition scholarship plus an additional $1,000 to cover other educational expenses. The award is renewable for three additional years. Total value of the Donald M. Suggs Scholarship Award is in excess of $30,000.


Leonard worked in public schools for 30 years in suburban St. Louis before accepting a position as director of college counseling at Metro Academic and Classical High School. Prior to the 2010-2011 school year, she was a college counselor for 13 years in the School District of Clayton at Clayton High School in the St. Louis area.

Leonard earned a Bachelor of Arts

 in speech/theatre and a Master of Education from the University of Missouri and returned to St. Louis University to pursue post-doctoral studies in counseling education. She is a member of the National Associa

She has given presentations at numerous MOACAC conferences, the state ACT conference and the State PTO conference. She also has presented several times at the national level for NACAC and the College Board. Leonard also serves on the admissions advisory committees for St. Louis University, the University of Tulsa and Purdue University. She was also asked to serve on the College Board’s Task Force on Admissions in the 21st Century and currently serves as a member of the Implementation Committee. During February of 2012, Leonard was featured as College Counselor of the Month at collegeadmissionbook.com. She was recently selected as one of eight educators nationally to serve on the advisory board for Questbridge, an outreach organization that connects talented, low income students with educational opportunities at some of the nation’s top colleges and universitiestion for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling (MOACAC) and the College Board. With MOACAC, she served on the executive committee as state chair for human relations. She has served on numerous conference planning committees and the Membership Committee, and currently serves on the College Fair committee. During the 2002 Spring Conference, Leonard received the Peggy Clinton Award which recognizes one colleague from Missouri for exemplary work in the college admissions profession each year.

Leonard lives in suburban St. Louis with her husband Jesse and they have a 24-year-old son who attends college in Florida. She is a member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Creve Coeur, Mo., where she served as vice president of the School Board and secretary of the Parish Council. In her spare time, she works out at her health club and attends theatrical productions in St. Louis and New York City.


Robinson of Bridgeton, Mo., is a freshman sport management major at Southeast Missouri State University and a 2013 graduate of Pattonville High School. In high school, he was active with the wrestling, football and tennis teams, debate team, PALS and DECA. He was elected vice president of DECA and has received the Chevron Award, an academic letter, Citizenship Award and Student Leader Award. In his community, he has been a camp counselor at Maryland Heights Safety Town and a summer tutor at Pattonville Heights Middle School. He also has been employed by Drury Inn.