Dr Zacharie Clements
    His 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 Zach’s 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.