When Dr. Leslie “Lee” March retired in 2012 after teaching at the Academy for 28 years, the first commitment she made was compiling a book of poetry. Selecting from among the many poems she had written over the years, she prepared “Rule of Threes” within the year. Seeking an evocative cover, she remembered a painting she had seen at the home of Chloe Picchio ’13, painted by Chloe, herself. Dr. March’s sister-in-law, Charlotte March, also a retired Academy English teacher, suggested that Chloe’s work divide the sections washed with different tints. The result is a striking work of both literary and artistic achievement.
During Hannah Banks’ ’12 senior year, students were encouraged to consider literature from a different perspective (visual, auditory, etc.). Hannah, who is also a poet, took the picture at right for the project. When she showed it to Dr. March, she was astounded with its resonance. When writing a second collection of poetry, “Unvarnished,” Dr. March found Hannah’s photo perfectly expressed the collection, and used the photo on the cover.
As a further Academy tribute, in 2013, Mary Russek ’12 invited Dr. March to see her perform in Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony” at the Eastman School of Music. On the return trip from Rochester, a violent storm tore at the textured leaves, which inspired Dr. March to write the poem “A Different Autumn,” dedicated to Mary.
These continuing and mutually inspiring relationships between students, alumni, and faculty are one of the most remarkable aspects of Academy life. I encourage you to remember those teachers who had an impact on you and reach out to them today.