One River Spotlight: Leela Prendergast

Tom Whalen Photography
Tom Whalen Photography

Leela Prendergast joined the One River School team in Englewood, NJ back in September 2017 as an Assistant Director. She grew up in Freehold, New Jersey and later attended Rutgers University where she graduated from the Mason Gross School in 2016. At One River, she is responsible for marketing, reporting, event planning, and assisting with the day-to-day operations. She is an ambitious, hardworking member of the Englewood team.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t have a lot of options for an art class- it was my 45-minute class in school. I would create on my own at home, but there is something magical about having a place solely dedicated to creating art with like-minded students who want to be there,” said Leela. That place being One River, she was drawn to work at the school because of her passion for the arts. With her past background in communications and visual arts, she knew she would be able to be a beneficial contributor to the team.

“We have a very contemporary approach of teaching art education. We emphasize that artmaking is a process, it takes time to learn and grow,” said Leela.

As an Assistant Director, her responsibilities can range from maintaining enrollment to event planning, to design work for promotions and e-mail marketing, to creating relationships with our students and their families. For Leela, one of the most exciting aspects about her role is “getting to know everyone who walks through the door, whether it’s a student trying out art for the first time or an experienced artist looking to refine their skills. One River is a community space for creative minds together.”

As One River School grows nationally over the next five years, Leela sees herself growing with the Englewood team as the company continues to open more schools and provide careers for like-minded people who are passionate about the arts.

“I’m excited to be here to witness the impact One River continues to have on its students. There’s something so special about the joy of watching our students grow and become more confident in their artistic abilities,” said Leela.

Outside of One River, she enjoys using her visual arts background and works in charcoal and water color. Something people may not know about Leela is she actually sketched all of her tattoos. She loves to take yoga classes and spend time outdoors- which is probably why her favorite color is forest green. Her favorite artists include Eric Jones, Lee Price, and Matt Phillips. If she could have one body of work in her space it would be a Katy Ann Gilmore mural. She does huge installation pieces and loves her work due their “tranquil and mathematical elements”.