Teacher | Garudas
Zak joined Middle Way part-time in 2021-2022 as co-teacher for our Owls class. In 2022-2023, Zak is assuming the role of full-time teacher for the 10-12 year-olds of our Garudas class, the oldest group at Middle Way. Zak is tasked with developing and leading lesson plans for language arts and co-teaching humanities and science with Christie Barron. He brings 20 years of experience in education, most recently teaching 3rd and 4th grades. A life-long resident of Woodstock, his deep knowledge of the region, passion for nature and the outdoors, and plethora of skills from woodworking to foraging is an exciting addition to the Owls classroom.
I have taught as a classroom teacher, tutor, mentor, and home instructor for nearly 20 years. Having taught 3rd and 4th grades at Woodstock Day School, working as a ski instructor at Hunter Mountain, and helping students from a variety of experiences, ages, and backgrounds, I am thrilled to be back in the classroom at Middle Way School
I received my MS in Elementary Education – grades Pre-K through 6th – from the College of Saint Rose, and hold a permanent NYS Teaching Certification. My undergraduate degree is from SUNY Purchase, where I studied film, literature, and creative writing. When I am not working at Middle Way School I have several other professions; I build reclaimed wood furniture, make kettle corn under the name Woodstock KettlePop, and work as a caretaker and general carpenter for several properties and clients.
I grew up in Woodstock and have raised my daughters Quin (22) and Cassidy(17) here. I love spending time together with them and the rest of my big, blended family. I raise chickens for eggs, forage for edible plants and mushrooms, tap maple trees for sap, and help care for the three cats, two dogs, four reptiles, and two guinea pigs, who also live in our home. I am currently working on a long-term documentary film project about the True Light Beavers, the family commune where I was raised. I love to write and recite short stories in local ‘storyslam’ events, create visual art, and gardening. A walk in the woods, a turn of the soil, an encouraging word, a helping hand, help to nourish me.