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Rev. Fr. Andrew J. Lesko is a native of New Jersey. He was born on June 5, 1951, in New Brunswick, NJ. He completed his elementary and secondary education from Woodbridge Township, NJ public schools, and he graduated from Rutgers University in 1973 with a BA in History and a lifetime secondary teaching credential in Social Studies. That same year her received a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force and married his college girlfriend, Karen Mary Wendt. After completing tech school at Vandenberg AFB, CA the Lesko’s were stationed at Whiteman AFB, MO where their son, (Dr.) Timothy M. Lesko was born. While at Whiteman Fr. Andrew received a MBA from the University of Missouri in 1977 and completed both Squadron Officer’s School and Air Command and Staff College. Fr. Andrew was then transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH where their daughter Rebecca Ann was born. Fr. Andrew was awarded his second masters degree, a MS in Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1979. The family then moved to Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. Father Andrew was promoted to Major just prior to leaving the service in 1984. In 1986 Fr. Andrew and his family relocated to Redlands, CA. From 1986 until 1993 Fr. Andrew worked as a defense contractor at the Ballistic Missile Office at Norton AFB, CA working as a program manager in support of acquisition logistics.
With the closing of the Ballistic Missile Office in 1993, Fr. Andrew went back to the University of California – Riverside and obtained teaching credentials in Social Science, Learning Handicapped, Resource Specialist, and Pupil Personnel Services. He devoted his efforts to helping “At Risk” students. He taught Emotionally Disturbed students as well as those students with Specific Learning Disabilities. For the past five years he has served as the head guidance counselor at Slover Mountain Continuation High School in Colton, CA.
As a working priest, Fr. Andrew has had to combine his religious education with his secular jobs. He was ordained a sub deacon by then His Grace Bishop Anthony. As a sub deacon Fr. Andrew served as the administrative assistant for St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Tucson, AZ. Fr. Andrew served at St. Elias Greek Orthodox Church in San Bernardino, CA from 1986 until 1989, before being transferred to St. Anne Romanian Orthodox Church in Pomona, CA. Fr. Andrew completed his theological studies through the Late Vocation program of the Pacific Deanery of the Diocese of the West, OCA and St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary. At St. Anne’s, Fr. Andrew was ordained a deacon in December 1994 and to the Holy Priesthood in August 1998. Fr. Andrew has served 10 years as a priest at the St. Sophia summer camp and was the first Orthodox priest allowed on site after the terrible flood that occurred at the camp. Fr. Andrew has served six years as a Sheriff’s Chaplain for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department years and is the Chaplain to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Division. In this capacity he serves the needs of the department and serves as a witness to the Orthodox faith.
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