Leigh Sapp: family matters

photoBy Catherine Meersman
Staff Writer
During Maria Bakas’ first time at Prospect High School, eight years ago, she was getting a tour from Scott Russell when they stopped at a room. Out came Leigh Sapp and with her came a lot of noise and what seemed like a party.
Bakas explained. “She was screaming really loud, ‘HOLA, HOLA!’ And, ‘At Prospect we have fun!’”
Sapp’s enthusiasm for working at a school was not always this strong. She grew up wanting to do anything but teach. In fact Sapp says teaching was the last thing she wanted to do.
Originally she had the intention of going to law school. However, between Brian, her high school sweetheart and husband of 22 years attending medical school, and her pursuing law school, Sapp had second thoughts.
“When you see the price tag on law school,” Sapp said, “and realize if he’s in medical school, and I’m in law school and we’re both taking out loans, what do we live on? We could live on love,” Sapp laughs, “but that doesn’t pay the rent!”
In addition to the financial downside of both Sapp and her husband pursuing those careers, it would also make having a family difficult.
“Having kids is hard because my husband is a pediatrician, so he deals with kids all day, and I deal with kids in my job all day,” Sapp said. “It took us a long time to decide, yes or no on that because we were busy with everyone else’s kids.”
But, eventually Sapp and her husband decided to have a family. Sapp has two young daughters, Lexi (13) and Sofia (eight). One of Sapp’s favorite things to do is taking joy in seeing her kid’s successes.
The girls’ dedication to their dance and how hard they work makes Sapp proud. However, she was extremely proud of her oldest daughter Lexi, who made it to regionals in the school science fair in the category of microbiology.
“She worked so hard on her project, and I had nothing to do with it. That was all her,” Sapp said.
Sapp’s favorite part was seeing Lexi be proud of herself.
“There is so many good parts of being a mother,” Sapp said. “When you see your kids be proud of themselves and they do something and they own it, and it’s all them, and they have the realization of ‘I did that.’”
Not only does Sapp take joy in hearing about the successes of her own daughters, but she also loves hearing about her students’ successes.
“Any time a kid comes back, and says, ‘Oh my gosh, I used Spanish at my job,’ or ‘Oh my gosh, I used Spanish on the bus,’ and they have a story.”
“Any time a kid comes back with a story of using their Spanish in the real world and they’re excited, that’s the moment.” Sapp said, “It’s second only to the kid who comes in and says they’ve dreamt in Spanish.”