Tallahassee, Florida- August 16, 2012
It's been almost two months since the announcement was made that Rocky Hanna would no longer serve as principal of Leon High School.
It was quite an emotional day for Hanna and faculty members. Hanna said when the announcement came that he would no longer return as principal, staff and students were already gone for the summer. So, today was about finding closure and saying goodbye.
"Today, I get that chance, a chance to go before the faculty and tell them how much I love them. They aren't like my family. They are my family."
Rocky Hanna returned to Leon High School Thursday but for the first time in seven years it was not to serve as principal. Hanna addressed faculty during a closed-door meeting. It was a reunion that teachers say was bittersweet.
Said English teacher, Stacy Fabrega: "I think we were very happy to be together as a family one last time. It was a little bit sad, you know to kind of say goodbye, but it was also uplifting that we have a new future to look forward to."
During the meeting, Hanna also surprised staff by donating his 3000 dollar promotion raise to the school to be used for what he called 'faculty rewards'.
"He knows that they don't get paid what they're worth and a lot of times, just small tokens of appreciation go a long way," said Billy Epting, Leon High Principal.
Said Fabrega about Hanna: "That is really one of the things that exemplifies Rocky Hanna, is that he is a kind, giving, gentle, generous man."
As for Life After Leon? Hanna remains positive.
"Hopefully I can bring what we have here, some of the trust and respect and accountability that we have here at Leon High School to other schools in our district. I haven't quite figured out my role yet, but I'm optimistic about the future," said Hanna.
During the meeting, Hanna also "passed the baton" as he called it, to new principal Billy Epting. Epting said having Hanna's endorsement and approval means a lot.