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P-H-M COO Aaron Leniski Named “Forty Under 40” Class of 2019

Aaron Leniski at Penn Athletic Signing Day (Feb. 7, 2018)
Aaron Leniski at Penn Athletic Signing Day (Feb. 7, 2018)

South Bend Regional Chamber announced today (Thursday, April 4, 2019) their 2019 “Forty Under 40” class and for the eighth time in 12 years, a P-H-M administrator or teacher has made the list! This year’s honoree is P-H-M Chief Operating Officer Aaron Leniski.


Leniski became the Chief Operating Officer at Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation in 2018. In this administrative role, he brings his expertise as an outstanding leader and educator, supporting the many initiatives and projects occurring district-wide.


Board Meeting 3/26/18
Aaron Leniski (2nd from left) at the March 26, 2018 P-H-M Board Meeting pictured here with Jeff Hart, Supt. Dr. Jerry Thacker, Board Pres. Chris Riley, and Jerry Hawkins


Leniski is one of six K-12 educators in this year’s class. He along with the other members of the 2019 class will be honored at a Luncheon to be held at the Northern Indiana Event Center in Elkhart on Thursday, May 23. The “Forty Under 40” program is an annual collaborative effort between the South Bend Regional Chamber, Young Professionals Network South Bend as well as other partners and chambers in the Michiana region.


Leniski, a 1998 Penn High School graduate, began his career in the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation in 2001 as an Assistant Football Coach at Penn, later going on to also teach Mathematics and Technology at the high school from 2003-2005. In 2004, he was one of the teacher coaches for Penn High School’s Robotics Team, which was a National Qualifier and the very next year went on to become a National Finalist.


In 2005, Leniski was named Penn High School’s Assistant Athletic Director, a position he held until 2012. During his tenure as the Assistant AD, Leniski oversaw 22 sports and activities at the high school.


Leniski became principal of Madison Elementary School in 2012. He successfully led Madison Elementary School for three years, during which time Madison received an “A” rating from the Indiana Department of Education.


In 2015, Leniski return to Penn as Athletic Director. During his tenure, nine Penn teams advanced to the state tournaments--five reaching Semi-State, 3 winning the State Championship, and 1 National Championship team.


Lenski giving tour of new Kingsmen Athletic Center to football players
Leniski giving tour of the new Kingsmen Athletic Center to Penn football players (Oct. 11, 2018)


Leniski is also a certified Indiana School Safety Specialist, a member of the Indiana Association of School Business Officials and the Indiana Association of School Principals. He has also served as a former board member of the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and was a member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.


P-H-M has had eight other employees recognized as part of the “Forty Under 40” program:

  • Assistant Principal Randy Williams, Class of 2018
  • Dr. Jennifer Sears, then Exceptional Education Program Supervisor & current P-H-M Director of Social Emotional Learning, Class of 2017
  • former Grissom Middle School Principal Nathan Boyd, Class of 2016
  • Sean Galiher, then principal of Schmucker Middle School now principal of Penn High School, Class of 2015
  • Dr. Jayson Snyder, then principal of Meadow’s Edge now Director of Talent Acquisition & Development, Class of 2014
  • Lavon Dean-Null, current Schmucker principal, Class of 2013
  • Dr. Heather Short, current Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Class of 2008
  • Pete DeKever, Penn teacher and former Spell Bowl coach, Class of 2007