Yearbook dedications were announced Thursday at Lee’s yearbook assembly. The 2017 honorees are math teacher Steve Larrivee and community member (and LA alum) Stephen Mallett ’72.
For the faculty dedication, the seniors have chosen to honor “one of the best teachers here,” a teacher who they say is caring, cool, fun, and committed to teaching and learning. Mr. Steve Larrivee joined the Lee Academy Math Department in the fall of 2011, after teaching math and computer science at Biddeford High School for 21 years. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Community College of Rhode Island, a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Rhode Island College, and a Master of Science in Instructional Education. Mr. Larrivee also has a passion for art and holds a degree from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Photography. In addition to his teaching and residential life responsibilities, he has been renovating his 100+ year-old farmhouse. Most recently he has turned his barn into a top-notch photography studio. Mr. Larrivee “is a genius,” said one senior; that just might be true. To round out the picture, Mr. Larrivee is also a motorcycle enthusiast, the adopted dad of two lucky dogs, and an entertaining storyteller, making historical information or family events often quite humorous and always interesting.
“Mr. Larrivee is an amazing teacher with a strong wit, a constant bright attitude, and an unwavering dedication,” according to senior Lincoln Gallant. Students said that they learn a lot from Mr. Larrivee, that he is an “amazing teacher” who engages students and that they never get bored in class, and that he “makes people like math.” According to senior Nathan Gilman, “He cares about the students and is never afraid to help students, even if he doesn’t have them in class.”
Mr. Larrivee’s effectiveness as a teacher may be best summed in his students’ words. “He taught me the deeper value of math, and also the more rigorous math for going into college,” said Phillip Parent. Another student said, “He truly cares about students and he teaches very well. He explains things, I can understand very well. I love his AP Calculus class very much.” His contribution to Lee Academy extends well beyond the classroom. You will see him at most events on campus: Steve photographs all the student activities and makes the pictures available to students and their families as well as to the yearbook staff. An international student reflected on Mr. Larrivee’s residential life role and said, “He deserves recognition because he has been here a long time and he brings joy to people by running snack time at 9:30pm every week night.”
This year we also honor Mr. Stephen (Steve) Mallett with the community member dedication for all that he has done for Lee Academy. According to his children Amie and Jason, “The main thing about our dad is he will always lend a hand. No matter where we are. He is always looking out for others and would gladly give them whatever he could.” According to friend Scott Maxwell ‘79, “If you need something done, you call Steve and he’ll do it.”
Steve is a lifelong resident of Lee. His family was among the original founders of the town back in 1820. Steve graduated from Lee Academy in 1972, and in the years that followed he married Lucie Kura ‘72 and he joined the well-known family business Mallett’s Mill. He is the loving and proud father and grandfather of daughter Amie and her husband Hung Bui and their daughter Isabella, and of son Jason, his wife Katie, and their children Henry and Rosemary. For around 30 years, Steve was a member of the MSAD30 School Board, serving as its Chairman for many of those years, and he was on the Board of Directors for Lee Academy for about 15 years. This in addition to working all hours, including nights and weekends, helping people with their docks which have increased in popularity in recent years.
Years ago, Steve helped his son and son’s friends become The Redneck Racing Team and his Redneck Bus transported the team to soap box derby competitions. As time went on, the bus was used to bring Steve and friends to concerts, to benefit dances for community members, and to other occasions that allowed his friends to be together for the ride and the fun. According to Scott, “Stephen enjoys life, he lives it to the fullest.” And then he added with a smile, “And he loves to dance, all night if possible!”
Bub Sawtelle ‘89, the Director of Maintenance at Lee Academy, has had to get help from Steve over the years for a variety of projects, most recently using his big equipment to remove an old boiler from one of the campus buildings. Not all projects are easy and clean and when Bub warns him it will be “a tough job,” Steve’s answer is “No, this will be fun!” According to Bub, “Steve is always willing to lend a hand to help Lee Academy and Steve expects nothing in return.” Both Bub and Scott repeated that Steve will drop his own work to help Lee Academy when needed. As evidence, as this was being written Steve was bringing the stage he built for the 2017 Arts Gala into the gym for that night’s drama performance.
Since the 1990’s, Steve volunteered to drive the bus for the French Club’s annual trip to Quebec. According to French teacher Margo Kelly, “Stephen and Lucie Mallett have been an important part of our yearly trip to Quebec. They selflessly took time from their work and personal lives to support us. They chaperoned and participated in all the activities with our students” and “they were always there for us, bringing their sense of humor and optimism even in difficult situations with our buses. From manually moving a car with students, to getting underneath the bus on the slush covered roads, to driving in blizzard conditions, Stephen made our trips not only possible but memorable.” She added further, “Lucie was also essential to the success of each trip. She was a very involved chaperone, interacting with the kids and ensuring that they were safe at all times. Without her help, the students would not have been able to fully experience the city and make the most of their time spent there.”
Thank you to both Steve Larrivee and Stephen Mallett for your years of dedication and service to the Lee Academy community. You are both appreciated more than you know!