D211 Post: Fremd Teacher Receives University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award



           Martin Zacharia, an advance placement history teacher at William Fremd High School, has received the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award.  Zacharia was nominated by a former student who now attends the university.

            Zacharia said he was humbled by receiving the award.

            “I was just really touched that Mingda took the time to nominate me,” said Zacharia.

            The award recognizes teachers who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the educational and personal development of their students.

            Zacharia was nominated by Fremd alumnus Mingda Zhang who said he had matured under the guidance of Zacharia.

            “Without you, UChicago would have just been an outlandish dream,” Zhang said in the nomination letter.

Martin Zacharia, an advanced placement U.S. History teacher at William Fremd High School, discusses a reading on the gilded age during one of his classes.

            Zacharia, who also serves as dean of students and the debate team coach, said he was inspired to become a teacher because of his experience high school.

            “I became a teacher because of some great teachers at Maine East who were challenging and helped us grow in a way that surprised me,” he said.  “The teachers were fundamentally caring and were always there to help.”

            He added that he tries to create the same environment in his own classroom.

            “I hope the class is challenging,” Zacharia said.  “I want students to grow over the course of the year, but I also want them to have a connection to the class.”