I can still hear him admonish us when it became clear that not too many in our class had carefully read the pages he had assigned for homework. “Judas priest people! If you don’t what?…Read! Then you won’t what?…Learn!” If you asked students who graduated from Amsterdam High School between 1962 and 1987, who then went on to become science majors in college, which of their high school teachers most inspired them to do so, many would answer, “Mr. Zeno.”
His full name was Gerald F. Zeno. He was a native New Englander, born in Burlington, Vermont on March 16, 1929. He joined the Army after graduating from High School in 1947 and after being honorably discharged he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Vermont’s St. Michael’s College. He went into teaching, migrated into science and specialized in high school biology.
The best way to explain why Mr. Zeno was such an outstanding teacher is to tell you he was …
The rest of Mr. Zeno’s birthday post will be published in the second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which will be available for sale right after Thanksgiving. To make sure you get your hands on one of the first copies, join my mailing list here.
The first edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which features my birthday posts for 320 current or former Amsterdam residents, is currently being sold at Liberty Fresh Market, on Route 30 in Amsterdam. You can also purchase it online here.