After 38 years and 40 years, respectively, Drama Teacher Mark Lindberg and English Teacher Rob Leith will retire from the faculty in June. When The Vanguard asked current and former students and faculty for comment on the two men’s legacies, the letters poured in—so many that we’ve decided to print a special edition in their honor. Stay tuned.
Mark Lindberg’s drama classes were an education in being human. He taught by example, making a “fool” of himself to show us it was OK. He encouraged us to fully inhabit all aspects of characters, and by extension, ourselves—even the parts we were conditioned to think of as shameful. In class we openly discussed aspects of our characters’ lives that we would never reveal about our own: family rivalries, body image, unrequited love. Under the guise of drama, I was put in touch with my own condition. Mark’s spirit of radical acceptance was a revelation for me. It gave me a sense of total
freedom. By being vulnerable, I felt strong.
—Alison Folland ’97
Mr. Leith’s ninth grade English class was one of the most pivotal moments of my education. He taught me to view literature as something active and affective, something visual and embodied, not just words printed on a flat page. Literature, I learned, was already a performing art. Mr. Leith gave me the sense that what I had to say and my interpretation of the world—of art, literature, culture, and everyday life—mattered. He gave me the gift of knowing that I had a voice and could use it to say something. Some students never get that.
—Amy Holzapfel ’92