After 21 years at Deerfield, Math Teacher Wayne Marge will retire this June. Through the years, he has been an active member of the Deerfield community. Outside of the classroom, his roles on campus as a sports coach have included football, girls cross country, girls basketball, wrestling, baseball, and lacrosse.
Before teaching at the Academy, Mr. Marge first taught the fine arts while he was still in college, but eventually switched to teaching math, which he has taught since at The Hotchkiss School, The Hill School, and, most recently, Deerfield.
Math Teacher Sean Keller ’86 hired Mr. Marge, and still remembers sitting in on the mock class Mr. Marge taught as part of the interview process, watching him explain indirect proofs. He also said the recommendation letter sent by Mr. Marge’s previous school, Hotchkiss, “said that in addition to being an outstanding math teacher he was an even better person.”
Mr. Keller continued,“He embodies the idea of ‘think globally, act locally’. If you want the world to be a better place, you can’t make the people around the world do that, but you can do that locally though through your interactions. He treats people with kindness and respect.”
Mr. Marge’s kind, welcoming reputation extends to students beyond his classes. Ashley LaBrucherie ’23 watched the JV Lacrosse game on May 1st, a sunny yet windy day. LaBrucherie shared, “[Mr. Marge] offered me his jacket to warm up a little.”
Indeed, Mr. Marge strives to be an active member of the Deerfield community and beyond, whether it be through helping the environment or influencing others to be the best they can be.
Advisee Liv Waterfall ’23, shared, “When I was in quarantine in the fall, he would take me on walks and tell me all about the different trees around campus. I loved this, because normally I wouldn’t talk about the trees, but with Mr. Marge, he made it interesting and engaging.” Waterfall fondly remembered being able to unwind on these walks and get outside while tying in nature with learning. She added that, as an example of Mr. Marge’s unwavering support, he even showed up to cheer her on at a tennis match in May.
Mr. Marge has always shown an extraordinary commitment to students. His selfless dedication was apparent in a story shared by Mr. Keller: “There was a student, 10 years ago, not a Deerfield student but a high school student from the area. This student was hitting some rough patches in their math class and he would meet them at Sunday brunch all year for about an hour or two to help that student out just out of the goodness of his heart. He could’ve been doing a lot of other things on a Sunday, but he was helping a student out.”
Evan Burkert ’21 has had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Marge as a Precalculus teacher, sit-down head, and basketball timer. She said he has shown her “how being a teacher and a mentor is more than just the title and the role itself. It’s about how you carry yourself and impact others.”
During basketball games, Mr. Marge runs the shot clock and is an honorary member of the team. He has always been an important presence at the games and, as Burkert recounted, “shows Deerfield spirit on the sidelines or on the shot clock.”
Head Varsity Basketball Coach Julie Schloat said he was “always positive about how our team played and encouraging of their team unity.” His team spirit and presence at the shot clock will be missed.
When asked about his favorite memories at Deerfield, Mr. Marge said, “It’s all about the kids. Whether it was in the classroom, or the teams that I coached, or kids in the dorm, everything has always been student-centered. I love watching everyone play at sports games and there was a time where I never missed any plays.”
Senior Associate Director of Admissions J.J. Briones has known Mr. Marge for his entire time at Deerfield. They lived in Doubleday 3 and Johnson 3, respectively, and would often work together. They would go to attend different games together and support each other. When Mr. Briones coached Girls Tennis Mr. Marge would come down and support the girls at their matches.
They have bonded over a “shared interest of classical music because [Mr. Marge] knows his classical music very well. We sometimes get into this competition of guessing who the composer is, figuring out whether it’s Beethoven or some other musician.”
Natalie Meyer ’23 took Precalculus with Mr. Marge this past winter and shared an anecdote about Mr. Marge’s vast knowledge of music: “I remember in every class he would always be playing some sort of classical music and whoever could get the composer would get extra points on their test.”
After years of friendship, Mr. Briones remarked, “[We’re] losing a man who’s taught for 40-45 years and has given his time and soul into Deerfield. [He’s] very representative of the teachers we want you to have at Deerfield.”
Mr. Marge has had an immense, positive impact on the Deerfield community. As Burkert said, “To put it simply, he is the quintessential Deerfield teacher. He’s a legend here and even if he’s not here, his legacy will definitely be passed on.”