Christopher J. Leonard, MSW, LCSW, M.Ed. Director of Operations

Christopher J. Leonard, MSW, LCSW, M.Ed. Director of Operations

Shaping A Collaborative Culture

Chris Leonard became the Director of Operations of Sage Day Schools in 2011, after serving as Principal at the Rochelle Park Campus from 1998. In his own words, Chris is “building a place where everyone has the freedom, responsibility and , upport to challenge him or herself to work hard, play hard, open new doors and hold doors for others.”

Bringing this philosophy and collaborative culture to our Sage Thrive comprehensive therapeutic programs, Chris leverages his extensive experience as a psychotherapist, educator, and public speaker to guide our in-district services, in-service programs, and events. His valuable insight into school-based therapeutic services arises from a lifetime of preparation, learning, professional advancements, and individual mentorship.

Commitment to Education and Community

His career started as a 17-year-old camp counselor at Camp Killooleet in Vermont, which clarified the power of community support, group cohesion, respect, responsibility, and individual freedom. Chris has incorporated those long-held beliefs into our school-based mental health counseling and supportive in-district services.

After graduating cum laude from Boston University, Chris began serving diverse communities ranging from the green mountains of Vermont to the inner city of Harlem, NY. He earned his MSW from New York University and an M. Ed. in Educational Leadership from William Paterson University.

Chris has worked extensively with children, adolescents, and families as a social worker, psychotherapist, board member, principal, and now Director of Operations for Sage Day Schools and Sage Thrive in-district therapeutic services. As part of our comprehensive therapeutic school initiative, Chris is instrumental in creating and supporting the vibrant, collaborative, and productive organization we have today.

The Personal Side of Christopher J. Leonard

Chris appreciates the importance of balancing work and play. In the office or in the community, he works closely with Sage Thrive, partners, students, staff, and parents to provide innovative in-district therapeutic services, build strong connections, and foster collaborative teamwork across all of his endeavors.

At home, Chris enjoys quality time with his wife and two children, as well as long distance running and cycling. Chris finds the importance of work/life balance that fosters innovative thinking and empowered leadership. His goal is to help others find their own path to success. His personal commitment spans his work, community involvement, and family life.

You can reach Chris at cleonard@sagethrivetoday.com or by phone at 201-723-6995.

Our District Programs

In 2008, a former director of special services at a Bergen County public school approached Sage to explore whether there might be a way of importing Sage Day’s in-depth therapeutic services from our private special education schools into a public school setting. We recognized two critical needs: supporting those students who were on the cusp of being placed out of district and providing a smooth transition for those students who were thriving out-of-district and could potentially transition back to district.