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Alumni Report: The Honorable Leo Diana, MHS ‘79

LEO V. DIANA, a 1979 graduate of Manchester High School, is a Superior Court Judge in Connecticut working in the Judicial District of New London.

Background: Born in Manchester, he attended Highland Park, Bennet and then MHS. He lettered in three sports and was the captain of the football team.

After MHS: Leo attended American University in Washington, DC and graduated from UConn in 1983, earning a bachelor's degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics and Philosophy. Upon graduation he moved to San Francisco and worked for the California League on Conservation, raising people’s awareness of environmental issues. He received his Juris Doctorate from Western New England University in 1988. As an attorney he joined his father’s law firm on Main Street and worked there for 26 years focusing on Criminal Defense and Family Law. He created a divorce mediation business, “Manchester Mediation,” to provide an alternative to trial in resolving disputes and he was a Collaborative Divorce Attorney. He was the President of the Lutz Children’s Museum, the President of the Manchester Jaycees, the Chairman of the Jeffers Trust (a local charitable trust), the chairman of the Hartford County Bar Association Family Law Section, the secretary of the Manchester Road Race Committee and a two term mayor for the town of Manchester. Leo and his wife have four children, and he is a runner who completes five half-marathons each year.

Manchester Memories: He credits the Manchester Public School system for providing him with a well rounded education and teachers that, he says, “inspired me to follow my passions, be engaged and to appreciate the opportunities that we have in this world.” (To give back, he is currently teaching a once-a-week law class at Illing that meets before school for interested students).

Words of Wisdom (for Today’s Students): His philosophy of life comes from Buddha, (something he read at MHS in a Philosophy class) -- “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”

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