What Educators Are Still Saying About Zach...

September 15, 2005

Thank you for the wonderfully inspiring talk on Opening Day at Sewanhaka. You and I had not been together for five or six years, but clearly, you have not lost a step, and actually seem to be improving with age.

Zach, I cannot tell you how important that moment was to our district. My predecessor had been Superintendent here for nearly 20 years. So I know we had not had a speaker at Opening Day in a least that long and probably never. Our first had to be great, so with the pressure on I went to the best I knew. Thanks for coming through for us.

I have received calls, letters, e-mails and personal reactions, and I have never heard more positive feedback from any program we have offered to school employees anywhere. I have enclosed for your information just a couple ( I don't want you to get too big a head!) of e-mails, which were typical.

Sincere thanks for a great show and sending our people off on the right foot. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regard,
John R. Williams
Superintendent of Schools
Sewanhaka Central High School District, Floral Park, NY

September 14, 2005

Hello Dr. Williams

I just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks for providing such a dynamic and motivational speaker. Although I have only been in the Sewanhaka district for 5 years, the Opening Day Ceremonies were not always looked upon with anticipation; they will be from now on.

As you know from seeing me around the central offices over the summer, I have been pretty busy and was less "excited" to begin the school year than in years past. All of that changed today. Mr. Clement was eloquent, funny, serious and inspirational throughout his talk and I left the auditorium feeling invigorated.

I am not sure the previous leadership in the district would have felt comfortable with the frankness of Mr. Clement, but I can speak for many of my colleagues when I say that we appreciated not only the reality behind his words, but also the "reality check" behind his message. Thank you!

Scott Colvin, New Hyde Park Memorial

July 23, 2005

You are one of the most dynamic speakers I have encountered.

I was laughing at some things you said and did down the interstate as I drove back to East Tennessee from the TAEA meeeting yesterday. You did some nice antics that I remember seeing two of my brothers do several years ago. I called my sister in California to tell her abou you and she laughed, too.

Thank you for a serious, but fun time.

Yes, you are certainly right when you said we must love our students and teach from our hearts. This will be my ninth year at this alternative school and I would not trade places with anyone.

How could our Director of Schools contact you as a speaker at an In-Service meeting for our local educators?

Thank you,
Linda Hinds
Rhea County Alternative School
Dayton, TN

March 29, 2004

I wanted to thank you again for the inspiring words that you shared with us recently at Catskill Middle School on Superintendents Conference Day. I certainly appreciated your honesty when discussing the trials and tribulations of being an educator.

As a teacher of almost ten years, I no longer fallinto the realm of "rookie" nor am I considered "near retirement" however, I approach every day realizing that at any moment something new may happen and maybe even more importantly, I continue to be enthusiastic and smile every day even as I take additional children and there situations on my shoulders.

You are a true motivator because I have seen a difference in some of my colleagues that fit the profiles within your stories. It appears that I am no longer one of the few teachers in my building smiling on a constant basis. Hopefully, it is not because they all found out that I was the one accidently locked in the copy room and have been giggling behind my back!

Please come to our school again, it would benefit us all.

Jane E. Cerro

 April 14, 2003

My name is Anita Hansen and I am the secretary to the Assistant Superintendent of Personnel for Carisbad Municipal Schools.

All of the secretarial staff at the Administration Office decided to meet and have lunch together today. I just wanted you to know how ever much every one of us enjoyed your presentation. That is mostly what we talked about at lunch! It was a thrill to see everyone so animated.

Sometimes it is easy to get into the negative mode, and what a great reminder of our blessings you were! I wish you could get us going early every day!

Some of your points reminded me of my precious father. He was a very positive, upbeat man. He used to tell me if something was getting me down, "Ann, don't worry - you can't ever get all your squirrels up one saplin'!"

Thank you for your time and spirit! You are an inspiration and I am very grateful for having crossed paths with you!

Anita Hansen

July 29, 2005

On behalf of the members of the Newton County Board of Education, the administration, faculty and staffs of all our school, please accept our deep appreciation for beginning our new school year on such a positive note with your heartwarming, challenging, and humorous persentation at both sessions of our school system's 2005 Convocation. A number of our 'seasoned' classroom teachers remarked that your talk was one of the best that they have ever heard, and I firmly believe that your message will positively impact the lives and careers of the large number of new teachers that we have this year.

Again, thank you for taking the time from your very busy schedule to come to Newton County and to participate in our Convocation. It was indeed a pleasure for me personally to see you once again, and it is my hope that our paths will cross yet again in the future. Please know that the Board joins me in wishing for you continuing success in all your endeavors.

E. Wendell Clamp

Donna Toupin
October 18, 2002

Thank you so very, very much for a superb presentation to our district staff at opening day ceremonies on September 6, 2002. Your message was exactly what I wanted to be conveyed at this event.

A great many people from the audience personally thanked me for inviting you to be with us because of the fine remarks you made about today's public schools. The trust you place in our teachers and administrators certainly leads to a future filled with excitement and great promise.

Again thanks. We very much appreciate your fine efforts to make this a truly special day.

Michael R. DeVault

October 11, 2002

I have enclosed a copy of the new article regarding your presentation at the Dan Emmett Convention Center on October 3. I have heard dozens and dozens of positive comments and received numerous cards and telephone calls from people in attendance. The non-certified staff members were grateful for your positive comments and how you made them feel a part of the entire education celebration.

Thank you again for your positive comments and the enrichment that you created in our school district.


November 9, 2001

Thank you very much for your enthusiastic and passion filled presentation to the NDCEL members at our Annual Fall Conference. The feedback I received was excellent - so thanks for making me look good!

I will publish the article that you sent in our newsletter in December and I hope you get several invitations to return to North Dakota. I have received two inquiries for your address and phone number, so I know there is some interest. When I plan our next conference, I too will keep you in mind as a follow-up.

The principal you are wondering about is Jay Diede. He has not been elected President of NASSP yet, but we are hopeful that he will be at Atlanta in March.

Thanks again for your help with our convention and I look forward to working with you again.

Larry A. Klundt
Executive Director

September 13, 2000

Thank you very much for participating in Connetquot's Opening Day Convocation on September 6, 2000.

Your keynote presentation was enormously successful in touching the hearts and minds for the entire staff. Your insights, your humor, you “soul” and your poignantly human message were warmly received by the staff. As I visited the schools, nothing but positive comments were made about you and your message. Inviting you to Connetquot was one of the best decisions I made as the district's Superintendent. You enable us to find a “common north” as we build bridges to the future for our children.

Your presentation certainly provides the foundation upon which we can build. I received your letter of September 7 regarding your proposed follow-up activities. Certainly I will be discussing your proposal with the school board and staff.

Please be assured that I will be in touch with you as soon as we finalize our plans. Please know that you are always welcome in Connetquot whenever you visit Long Island. The board, staff and I remain grateful to you for giving us a sense of hope and for inspiring us to go forward with gusto in our educational mission for children. You are truly a quintessential educational leader and a most beautiful person.

With much appreciation and warmest regards.

Joseph Laria
Superintendent of Schools
Connetquot Central School District of Islip
Bohemia, New York

August 28, 2000

WOW! That is what we have been hearing in the halls of CLIU on your presentation, “Miracles Begin With You” for our CLIU staff on August 22nd. We have heard different phrases from your speech form every corner of the building.

Thank you hardly seems appropriate for such a super presentation, but thank you for “teaming” with us to get the new school year off to a great start. The CLIU Cabinet and staff are most appreciative of your presentation. We look forward to meeting the needs and challenges of our students and school district for the 2000–2001 school year. “Together we make a difference.”

Geraldine L. Miller, Ed.D.
Director, Curriculum & Instruction Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit Schnecksville, Pennsylvania

June 21, 2000

Our 30th Annual Northwest Administrators' Conference was a great success due to your expertise and enthusiasm. According to the conference evaluations your keynote address was well received by our administrators, excellent presentation!

I personally want to express my sincere appreciation for your contribution in making our annual conference a success!

Dr. Joe Sinclair,
Executive Director Northwest Regional Educational Service Alliance

July 20, 2000

Thank you for your enjoyable address on Saturday, June 24, at our banquet. You were so patient with us when we ran late. The audience was delighted by your presentation. It was a wonderful way to end this stressful conference.

Once again, it was great listening to you. I will inform next year's committee of your other presentation. If they are interested, I will contact you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance to you.

Kathy Melzer, Director
Office Administration
Oregon School Employees Association
Salem, Oregon

May 29, 2000

It truly was a pleasure to meet you and have you as out Keynote Speaker for the Professional Day(s) event in West Springfield. Your speaking style, humor, and ability to touch upon sensitive and challenging issues with courage, conviction and honesty were both refreshing and invigorating. For days afterward teachers, administrators and staff continued to express how pleased they were with your message – and many asked if you would consider returning for a longer duration! I would be pleased and honored if you would give further consideration to your thought regarding returning to West Springfield at a later date to speak to all staff members of the school district and the West Springfield community.

Once again, it was truly a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for your overwhelmingly positive impact on our Professional Day(s) event, I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest Regards,
Donna Toupin
West Springfield Public School
West Springfield, Massachusetts