Theresa Leigh Sherman, Founder and President of Leigh Sherman Executive Secretarial School and Community College, is a graduate of St. Teresa’s Convent, Monrovia. After her graduation she was sent to the U.S. to continue her education. There she attained her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Sociology and Social work.
Upon Completion of her studies, Mrs. Sherman returned home to make her life dream a reality—the establishment of a first class Secretarial School – a program to train young ladies in Liberia thereby making them professionals and women of substance. Surprisingly, upon her return home, her dream was put on hold when she was requested by the late Mrs. Antoinette Tubman, then First Lady of Liberia, to become the Director of Social Services Association of Liberia – an Organization that catered to care for the blind, mentally ill, deaf and dumb, and the disabled.
After two years of working with this Organization, Mrs. Sherman decided it was time to move on to pursue her Life dream – the opening of an Employment Agency (first of its kind in Liberia) and the establishment of an Executive Secretarial School.
A survey was conducted to determine the manpower needs of the workforce in Liberia. It soon became clear that there was a significant shortage of skilled support workers such as Receptionists, Secretaries, Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. In light of this, the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) composed of retired professional men and women based in New York, was contacted to assist in the establishment of a professional Secretarial School in Liberia. This Organization sent Dr. Carolyn Conwarth to Liberia to assist in the establishment of the Secretarial School. So in 1976, the dream was born and the Leigh Sherman Executive Secretarial School was established, starting with 22 students.
To date, the School is proud to have graduated over 3000 Secretaries from all 15 counties of Liberia and from several other African Countries. The School offers a free job placement service to its graduates. Our graduates have found employment with Government Agencies, Public and Private Corporations, the United Nations and Liberian Embassies Abroad. As a pioneering institution in the field of Secretarial Science, Leigh-Sherman Executive Secretarial School has as its motto: “There is No Excellence Without Labour.” With that, we are consistently committed to maintaining and fostering an environment where our graduates’ skills are developed and closely nurtured.
A few years later, the Leigh Sherman Community College was established, offering an Associate of Arts Degree in Secretarial Science, Accounting and Management. The College is accredited by the University of Liberia, the United Methodist University, University of Ghana in Legon, Ghana, and the Sinclair College in Ohio, U.S.A.
Leigh-Sherman students are trained in an environment that is conducive to achieving their goals. The school has a staff of highly qualified professionals who have dedicated their time and efforts to educating and monitoring the progress of our future leaders. Our senior students are sent on three-month internships to various entities, including Ministries, Public and Private Institutions, Banks, etc, etc, for practical experience before graduation.
As the School has moved to its new campus on the Somalia Drive in Paynesville, we are now preparing to take the School to another level by providing an On-Line College program.
As we celebrate 39 years of service to our Country, we give thanks to God for His many blessings. We are also grateful to our many friends and supporters in Liberian and abroad who have stood with us and encouraged us over the years.
As of brief background of this daughter of Liberia, Mrs. Sherman served in many positions both here and internationally. She served as Chairman, Board of Trustees, Joseph Jenkins Roberts Foundation. The first President of Liberia willed all of his properties to the First United Methodist Church for the sole purpose of educating the children of Liberia. Mrs. Sherman also served as Chairman, Board of Trustees, University of Liberia, and Member, Board of Trustees, United Methodist University. She later became the first President of the Mano River Women Peace Network (MARWOPNET). This Organization is composed of women from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast, whose purpose is to facilitate the Peace Process in the West Africa sub-Region. Mrs. Sherman was given the Peace Award by the General Assembly of the United Nations, which she received on behalf of MARWOPNET.
During the heat of Liberia’s conflict in the nineties, waged by seven warring factions, ECOWAS requested MARWOPNET to attend the Peace Conference in Accra, Ghana, to help broker the peace for Liberia with the Warring Factions and Civil Society. After four months of mediation for peace, Mrs. Sherman, who headed the delegation, signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on behalf of the women and children of Liberia and MARWOPNET.
Mrs. Sherman served for 12 years as President of the Liberian National Red Cross Society. As a result of her work along with members of the Society and Staff – Red Cross Offices were opened in 13 of the 15 Counties for the first time, with assistance from many international sister-Red Cross Societies. Within a few years, the King and Queen of Spain, recognizing the hard work of the Liberian Red Cross under Mrs. Sherman’s presidency, invited her to Spain, where she was decorated for her distinguished contribution to the Red Cross and as a Woman Activist. Mrs. Sherman was awarded the Honorary Doctoral Degree in Humanities by the United Methodist University. In July 2014, she was awarded the Grand Band of the Order of the Star of Africa by the President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Mrs. Sherman presently serves as Representative of Liberia as a member of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise. She continues to spend all of her time and energy with the Leigh Sherman professional staff to continue to mold the minds of the future leaders of Liberia.
Mrs. Theresa Leigh Sherman is the daughter of the late Honorable Dupigny-Leigh, former Chief of Protocol of the Republic of Liberia and the House of Representative.
The Leigh Sherman Executive Secretarial School and Community College from its incipiency was given tremendous support by Hon. Charles Dunbar Sherman, former Secretary of Treasury of Liberia, and later Senator for Grand Cape Mount County.
The Community College owes its establishment and image to these two Liberian Patriarchs who by the immense support and encouragement led the College to where it has become today.
As the Leigh Sherman Executive Secretarial School and Community College enters its 40th year of existence, we pray for continuous encouragement, support and prayers from our many friends and supporters in Liberia and abroad, as we give thanks to God for His blessings.
Please feel free to come and visit us on our new campus.