Roger "Bud" Leak feels like he's led a life of privilege:
Privileged to have taught and coached in Minnetonka for close to 50 years
Privileged to have sent his four kids to Minnetonka schools
Privileged that he still gets to live here and be an active part of the community
Of course the thousands of students whose lives he touched would politely add that they were the fortunate ones to have received the wisdom of a man who has dedicated his life to educating young people.
But Bud Leak insists he's just one lucky fellow.
"It's just been a remarkable trip," he says. "To be there, working with one of the top schools in the state, in one of the top areas, I always counted it as a rare privilege I just fell into."
After teaching his first three years in greater Minnesota, Bud came to Minnetonka in 1953, spending one year at the junior high and then moving to the high school to teach history. Thanks to crowding issues, he was joined by some younger students.
"In the beginning, we had first graders out at the high school," he says. "There were swing sets by the school, and I'd look out and see the little ones lining up just outside my door. It's just a joy to remember."
As a high school teacher, Bud was now eligible to coach, so he took over both hockey and baseball and stayed for decades. Even though he retired from teaching in 1985, he helped out with the baseball team until 2000 and is still a Skippers fan. He and Donna, his wife of 59 years, are regulars at Veterans Field and, depending on the season, just about every other Minnetonka venue.
"The high school is our community center," Bud says. "We're on the second and third generations now of the athletes we see. It's an important part of our life."
Bud says baseball has been the sport he connected with the most, and you get the idea he feels like the big slugger who keeps getting fastballs down the middle with the bases loaded.
"All I can say is that I'm one of the luckiest people in the world," he says. "We've been blessed to be part of the Minnetonka schools and to be able to follow the growth and tradition of a great community."