More Than a Math Whiz: Getting to Know Mr. Lesko

By Mia Norton, 12th grade

For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Lesko is the DP SL and HL math teacher here at Imagine, and this is his first year here. As a new teacher, Mr. Lesko had a lot of expectations to live up to – including mine.  I was “salty” (slang for upset) that I had to learn Calculus DP Year 2 in my senior year with a new teacher, so I didn’t exactly warm up to him quickly.  I remember he walked in and reminded me of Santa Claus.  As time went on, I began to know him as the teacher that would always greet me with a joke or story, a teacher that actually liked derivatives (you don’t even want to know what this is). Now we laugh about the fact that for the first two weeks I was silent and sulky.  I want to share more about the man who will help me obtain an IB Diploma – something I’ve been working towards for four years. And as a bonus, there may or may not be a high-school photo of Mr. Lesko from 1978 at the end of this article…)

Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching?

A: The joy and satisfaction I get from showing these young adults that they can achieve incredibly difficult goals if they want it bad enough and persist in their efforts. Their youthful enthusiasm helps keep me young.

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: I attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook where I earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Q: How did you meet your significant other?

A: I met my beautiful bride at work. She worked in the mechanical engineering lab. I would find many reasons to use that lab.

(Mr. Lesko may not be a science teacher, but he and his wife sure do have chemistry. *Ba dum tss*)

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Photo: Mr. Lesko and his wife on their wedding day!

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Photo: Mr. Lesko and his wife now!

Q: Tell me something unique about you?

A: Well, I think I’m still the only soccer goalie in NCAA history to score a goal from my own penalty area.

Q: If someone described you in 5 words, what would they say?

A: Friendly, direct, approachable, caring, intelligent

Q: What is your greatest success?

A: My class in Dallas ISD at a school with students that were lagging behind in their math skills achieved the highest AP Calculus AB Exam passing percentage in the state. They did it with that “stick-to-it-ness” perseverance.

And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for….

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Photo: Mr. Lesko’s high school photo from 1978!

In all, Mr. Lesko is a really interesting person who always has some crazy and hilarious story to share about any topic. And he’s an amazing math teacher as well- he’s patient, understanding, and always has a way to explain abstruse topics in a clear, simple way. He’s already changed so many students’ outlook on math, and he’s changed mine as well. Thank you, Mr. Lesko, for coming to Imagine!

Extra photos: 

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Mr. Lesko’s daughter is in her sophomore year and is amazing at softball, volleyball, and basketball.  His son is currently in college majoring in business; Mr. Lesko is clearly one proud parent. 

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Left to Right: Goliath, Ellie, and Koda (Mr. Lesko’s other kids)

 

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