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Chet LeSourd '72 and Bob Bires: On Teaching, McCallie and Retirement

  • Academics
  • Podcast
Bob Bires, Lee Burns '87 and Chet LeSourd '72 in the podcast studio


“You just show up, . . . and you care about (the students) and you work at such a fabulous place like McCallie and you give your life to it and you are all in. . . . The next thing you know, 43 years go by. I can’t think of a thing that I would change. I’m so lucky.” That’s how Chet LeSourd ’72 summed up his 43 years on the Ridge as an English teacher, coach, and dorm head.

On Monday, May 16, Mr. LeSourd made his final Upper School Chapel talk as a member of the faculty and shortly afterward sat down in the podcast studio with Head of School Lee Burns ’87 to discuss his time on the Ridge and his thoughts on teaching. They were joined by Bob Bires, who retired from the English Department two years ago during the COVID shutdown when the school was unable to give him a proper send-off, and the result was a powerful discussion among friends and teaching professionals. “These are pillars of McCallie School,” said Mr. Burns.

Throughout the discussion, the two master teachers, who also are close friends, are quick to say that although they are now retirees, they will never really leave McCallie, and McCallie will never leave them.

The discussion is now available as the latest edition of McCallie’s Stories from the Ridge podcast series and can be heard below or by searching for McCallie Stories from the Ridge on all major podcast platforms.