work has put him on the company of such speakers as President Gerald
Ford, Jesse Jackson, Dan Rather, Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau,
Henry Kissinger, and Barbara Walters. Yet this respected, much sought-after
speaker endured an orphaned, Depression Era childhood in an African-American
and Italian ghetto. He's been through it all poor performance
at public schools, trouble with the law, and the constant lure of
easy money from the rackets that flourished openly in his neighborhood.
But Zachs indomitable will to succeed
was nourished by love and wisdom from his immigrant grandparents,
and inspiration and help from his teachers, who started him on the
road to respect for learning. As he proudly states, If it weren't
for American public schools, I wouldn't be where I am today.
He has earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University
of New York at Albany, and a second Master's and a Doctorate from
the University of Buffalo.
A full professor at the University of Vermont for 13 years, Zach has also taught intermediate through high school English, biology, history and reading. He is the author of two highly successful reading series. Eagerly embracing life, Zach has also been a cook, lifeguard, camp director, football coach, laborer, truck driver, insurance salesman, U. S. Marine and a musician appearing on American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show in 1960. As versatile in leisure, he enjoys cooking, jogging, golf and writing fiction. Proud parents and grandparents, Zach and his wife, Cynthia, recently celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary.
Much of the impact, emotion and honesty of
Zach's message is rooted in his inspiring upward journey from ghetto
to public acclaim energized by an avid hold on life, tempered
by old-world values, and warmed by a teacher's love of people.