Class of 1976
After his parents, Blackie and Nita, “moved up on the hill” in 1957, Rob was the first baby to arrive at the new Charann address in Finneytown. Little did he know that he’d spend the next 50 years of his life living in and supporting the Finneytown community.
He attended Whitaker Elementary school then “moved again” to the Finneytown High School Campus graduating in 1976. While at Finneytown, Rob became very active in sports, playing football and running track and served as Captain of the football team his senior year. He was also active in student council and the F-club.
Rob attended Eastern Kentucky University majoring in criminal justice and taking a minor in Fire Science and Technology, graduating with distinction. He volunteered at the Northern Hills Fire Department from 1989-1996 and then became the Fire Chief of the newly formed Springfield Township Fire Department in 1996 where he still serves today.
As Fire Chief he has many achievements: raised the level of medical care to Paramedic Service for all residents of Springfield Township, was the first fire department in Hamilton County to use EKG/heart monitor/defibrillators, started the Springfield Township Fire Department Recruit Program for men and women interested in becoming firefighters and was awarded the “Fire House of the Year” in 2008 by Gold Star Chili.
“Dad has always taught us about the importance of ‘community,’” says his son Eric Leininger, Finneytown Class of 2005. Rob also has a daughter, Emily, who graduated Finneytown in the Class of 2006.
Over the past 30 years, Rob has played Santa for thousands of kids, adults and seniors. “I grew up watching my father play Santa for kids in the neighborhood and needy families in the area,” he says. He’s not the traditional Santa who sits on a chair – he has even been known to moon walk like Michael Jackson and wave a flag while riding on fire trucks.
“I’m very proud of the Finneytown community. Giving back to the community that had a big part of who I am today is very rewarding."