Alumni Educator Award 2016

Zachary Galvin graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1993, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Acting and Technical Theatre. After spending two years touring the United States with Landis and Company Theatre of Magic, Zach decided to bring his considerable talents to the classroom. He entered the Post-Baccalaureate Teacher License program at Framingham State University to become an English teacher. After his successful student teaching experience at Natick High School, Zach was hired as an English teacher there in 1996.

Unfortunately, Zach entered his classroom and cancer treatment simultaneously. Amazingly, he missed only two days of school that year, and managed to contribute his theatrical expertise to the high school musical. In 2003, Zach was named a finalist for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year.

Now cancer-free, Zach has become a tireless fundraiser and advocate for those with cancer. He organized Zach’s Pack, a Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk team, raising almost $600,000 to date. Each year on February 26, Zach celebrates “Yahoo Day,” inviting his friends, family, and acquaintances to participate in random acts of kindness, large or small, to honor those inside and outside of the medical community who helped him to survive cancer.

Now a vice-principal at Natick High School, Zach is known as a tough but fair administrator whose door is always open to students and staff alike. A few years ago, Zach took on the herculean task of steering Natick High School through the building of the new state-of-the-art high school. Zach was the go-to person for all constituencies affected by the incredibly complex process of building a new Natick High School, closing the old Natick High School, and opening the new school. No issue was too insignificant for Zach to address.

During his tenure at Natick High School, Zach has brought his talents to the drama program and to the ice rink as a member of the girls’ hockey team coaching staff. He has also travelled to China several times to recruit students to study at Natick High. He has been an active member of the Education Association of Natick, serving as a negotiator and representative, the Mass Teachers Association as a representative, and the National Education Association, as a state-wide director representing administrators from Massachusetts.

Every day, Zach continues to inspire others through his work at Natick High School and in his humanitarian endeavors.