Lance Leener

Teacher, Tompkins Square Middle School

Born and raised in Portland, OR, Lance attended the University of Washington, where he earned a B.A. in History in 1981. After studying in Jerusalem, Israel for a year after college, Lance moved to New York City where he built a fifteen-year career in the fashion industry. For ten of those years, he served as vice president of Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel, Inc., managing one of its largest divisions. Seeking greater career fulfillment, Lance left the business world to earn a M.A. degree in Education at the Bank Street College of Education in 2000. Two years later, he helped found Tompkins Square Middle School (TSMS), an award-winning public school located in the East Village. He has been a middle school Humanities teacher for the past nineteen years at TSMS, and has also served in many leadership roles at the school including: Advisory Facilitator, Head of the Hiring Committee, and member of the Outcomes Based Assessment Team. Outside of work, Lance is a lover of books, a bike racer, runner, coach, and avid skier. He is married to Jamie Nicholson-Leener, Head of Emerging Market Credit Research at Credit Suisse, and together they have a daughter, Jesse, who is a first-year at Kenyon College.