Esther Lescht


Hannah Clinton, Author

The image above is that of Esther Lescht, an engineering teacher at Santa Fe High in the Business Center classroom next to the vending machine that she and her neighboring teacher take care of. The vending machine has little relevance to her, but knowing where to find her can always come in handy, seeing as she is not only welcoming and easy to talk to, but also a long-time part of Santa Fe High. 

Ms. Lescht graduated from Santa Fe High School in 2015 before going to the University of Denver to major in engineering. But her path quickly led her back to Santa Fe, where while looking for a job she ended up helping her old engineering teacher, Mr. Forester. 

When Mr. Forester left the school, the new engineering teacher, Ms. Walukas, would end up taking Ms. Lescht in instead. But before that, Ms. Lescht, like most of us, was skating between career options. From Nascar driving to being a welder, she ended up at a job downtown that her old principal got her, but unfortunately it entailed sitting at a computer seven hours a day. It was too much, so she went back to Santa Fe High. Ironically, now one of her goals as a teacher is to help students become adjusted to their own ¨machines.¨

What Ms. Lescht values most and wants her students to value is independence and “learning how to learn.” Ms. Lescht is a prime example of finding your path individually while gaining support from the people around you. Ms. Lescht went back to college, where she earned an associate’s degree in engineering and a bachelor’s degree in electro-mechanical engineering from Northern New Mexico College. She got her teaching license from Santa Fe Community College. 

Though happy teaching engineering, Ms. Lescht is also interested in math. She says she doesn’t like how it’s taught, or really how it’s perceived. Math uses and builds real-world problem-solving, she maintains. With critical thinking and being able to envision the things you’re learning, it’s a tool Ms. Lescht feels needs to be learned by more people. 

Ms. Lescht just bought a house. She said, “I basically bought it for my dog (Lugnut),” a dog whose pictures she shares almost every day in class. 

Perhaps what exemplifies Ms. Lescht’s convictions best is her goal of building a giant clock. Piece by piece and gear by gear, it seems Ms. Lescht’s major lesson in life (learning how to learn) is symbolized by this giant clock. Figuring out your complexities and learning how you work are values Ms. Lescht teaches every day. As for the clock, if Ms. Lescht can help every student she has, individually, no one should be surprised if they walk in and see a clock “like the size of the wall” featured in her room.