A Tribute to Leslie Marchesseault

Thursday, June 15, 2017

After 25 years of dedicated service to Glen Urquhart School, Leslie Marchessault has announced her retirement at the end of the 2016-17 school year.  Leslie's profound impact on the school since 1992 as a classroom teacher, director of summer programs, admission director, and founder of GAIN@GUS has influenced the lives of every GUS child and family and every faculty and staff member in countless positive ways, seen and unseen.

Leslie began her career as a third grade teacher in New Jersey in 1970, soon moving to Rhode Island where she taught first and second grade and continued masters work in Early Childhood and Family Relations. Lauded as one of that school district's premier teachers, Leslie joined the Village School in Boxford, Massachusetts in 1980, becoming director the next year and remained in that leadership role until she came to GUS in 1992 as a second grade teacher.  In the interim, Leslie had already enrolled her own children, Kyle '91 and Andrew '97, as Glen Urquhart students.  In the second grade classroom, Leslie quickly established herself as a master teacher who knows and loves children.  She has a gift for discerning what makes each child unique and knows how to make each child feel special.  This was further recognized in 1995 when Leslie was asked to serve as admission director, a role she absolutely personifies today.

Under her guidance, Glen Urquhart School grew and prospered and families across the North Shore came to associate GUS and Leslie as one.  Indeed, Leslie's exemplary people skills, her warmth and hospitality, her knowledge of the GUS program, and her keen sensibility as someone who sees the best in children have made her an unparalleled representative of the school, a true embodiment of the best of GUS.  Many a morning she can still be found at drop off, greeting each child and parent by name and with a kind word or personal query.  Most afternoons she likewise is bundling kids up for the drive home after a great day at school.  And when a day has been rough or a tear has been shed, it's often Leslie who can be found comforting a student or is on the phone to a family.

Leslie has been dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the school's socio-economic diversity, intentionally building the community into what we know and love.  Her dedication to equity and justice extends beyond the school year to the dozens of Beverly and Lynn public school children who have benefitted from the GAIN@GUS program, helping cement the notion of a private school with a public purpose.  GAIN is a testament to Leslie's values as an educator and engaged citizen, another embodiment of the GUS mission.

Leslie's impacts will be felt for years to come.  For all she has done and continues to do, the entire Glen Urquhart School community salutes her!

Whitney Buckley