Fred Leach, who built close relationships in Ed Support, leaves to write for TV

Also led discussions that increased community understanding after George Floyd killing

SCRIPT%3A+Mr.+Leach+is+currently+writing+a+film+about+a+mixed+couple+whose+families+are+trying+to+navigate+the+holidays.

Photo provided by Fred Leach

SCRIPT: Mr. Leach is currently writing a film about a mixed couple whose families are trying to navigate the holidays.

By Benjamin Gamson, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Mr. Fred Leach, who worked one-on-one with students taking online classes as part of the Student Support department, has left Shalhevet to pursue television and film writing, after working for five years in educational support.  

In an interview with the Boiling Point, Mr. Leach said it had been a dream of his since he moved to Los Angeles, and that he was now hard at work on his script.

“We’re a couple of drafts into it,” Mr. Leach said. “It’s actually a – crazy enough – it’s a film about this Christian family and this Jewish family whose kids are engaged and they are trying to make the holidays work.

“I’m hoping to get that film into production in the next year or so, and then I’m hoping to sell a pilot, which is like the first episode of a TV show, this year too.”

Mr. Leach came to Shalhevet in 2018 as a part-time tutor, then worked in Ed Support for three years full time as Digital Firehawks instructor. In Ed Support he worked one-on-one with students in the Nitzotz program, which he described as online classes for students who work better in a non-large-classroom environment. 

He didn’t just teach but he also started conversation.”

— Kayla Becker, 12th grade

Some of the students I worked with, because I worked with them so closely, I felt like we kind of had a stronger relationship than the normal teacher-student,” Mr. Leach said, “and so just kind of getting to know them and their lives, and bonding over love for cats and dogs and our pets and stuff, always just made it fun to come to work.”

While he was here, he also worked to educate Shalhevet students on racism. He took part in a Town Hall panel about being Black in February 2021, and last year hosted a panel with four Black panelists in various professions – all his friends – on Martin Luther King’s birthday to discuss King’s legacy.  

In the October 2020 issue of the Boiling Point, Mr. Leach gave an interview where he discussed being a Black man living in Los Angeles following the death of George Floyd. 

 

He said working so closely with students allowed them to bond more than the teacher-student relationship in a classroom. 

Senior Kayla Becker worked with Fred during all her years at Shalhevet, in English, math and history over the years. 

“I liked that he didn’t just teach but he also started conversation, made it like a friendly environment instead of just working working working,” said Kayla. “He can also become friends with all of us in the most teacher way that he can.” 

Mr. Leach said he enjoyed the annual Steve Glouberman basketball tournament each year, and especially watching his own students participate. 

“I just love how the school always kinda banded together and it was just such a big deal, and it was like nothing like I have ever experienced in a school,” Mr. Leach said.