Beloved Greenacres Teacher Passes Away

Debbie Leitner with her family (Twitter)

Debbie Leitner with her family (Twitter)

Maya Bharara

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After a courageous three-year fight with cancer, Greenacres third grade teacher Debra Leitner sadly passed away on January 25. A teacher at both Fox Meadow and Greenacres, Leitner was beloved and will be greatly missed by the entire Scarsdale community, and especially by her  students, their families, and her fellow teachers.

“Ms. Leitner made us laugh. Every day she would teach these different hard math problems that she helped us to understand. She also helped me a lot with my writing and was really funny,”  said Brooke Suzman ’23, who had Leitner in third grade at Greenacres. “She was the most wonderful teacher and truly such an amazing and warm person,” Brooke’s mother, Leesa Suzman, agreed.

Leitner was also close with teachers throughout the school system. “Mrs. Leitner touched so many lives with her smile, her sense of humor, and her selflessness. We are all better having known her. I have also never known anyone with as much strength as she had. Whenever she left any of us, her famous line was ‘Miss you already.’ We all miss her so much already,” said FM fifth grade teacher Sidney Lipez. FM third grade teacher Beth Kaplan also commented on her warmth and humor. “When we would see each other or speak on the phone, instead of saying how are you, Debbie would say ‘how you doin…’ She would say it in a funny accent and then I’d answer back the same way and we’d both laugh,” she remembered.

Our thoughts are with Leitner’s family and friends as we grieve, remember, and honor her life and legacy in our community.