As the first and only executive director that Hebrew Academy has ever had, Linda Lehrer has more than held down the fort for 31 years. That is more than 62% of HA’s actual existence! Mrs. Lehrer (for all you alumni from the 70’s and early 80’s - not to be confused with the OTHER Mrs. Lehrer) has been the dedicated, constant and committed backbone of Hebrew Academy since 1987 leading us through decades of change, growth and improvement into the 21st century and beyond. Mrs. Lehrer has worked alongside and mentored countless members of the administration and faculty, guided hundreds of parents, teachers and volunteers, and watched students enter the doors in Garderie only to re-enter years later as HA parents with their own children in tow. There is no one with as much institutional knowledge, financial prowess and human resource management ability as Mrs. Lehrer. Grade 11 student Talia Dayan sat down with Mrs. Lehrer to get her perspective on 31 years at HA and to learn about some of her earlier history: TD: Please tell me about your position. LL: As the executive director of Hebrew Academy I run the non-educational aspects of the school such as finances, the facility, legal and all other matters. I deal with both financial issues and human issues. I am called upon to be tough when negotiating finances and deals for the good of the school but recognize the need for warmth and sensitivity when dealing with people. I am a mother of four children who attended HA and my pride and joy are my grandchildren, one of whom is in HA Kindergarten right now! I began working at the school in 1987; I was quite young at the time! In those early years, the school was located on Mackle Road in a small rented facility. Our high school was housed in trailers that got very hot in the summer but cold in the winter. When it rained it leaked in the classrooms. Now look where we are. We must appreciate our wonderful facilities. It was with the the help of Board members that we secured a piece of land and built what we have today. TD: How did you get to HA and when? LL: I was born in Casablanca, Morocco and left when I was only two months old. My family moved to Ashkelon, Israel, and then when I was 10 years old, my family moved to Montreal. Jewish Day School was very expensive and help was not available like we make it available today, so I studied in public school - Guy Drummond Elementary School followed by Outremont High School. I went on to complete my post-secondary studies at the Sir George Williams Q & A Linda Lehrer WITH The only executive director in HA history! 30