By Alex Cichowicz ‘23

Zach Zielinski, who most of us know as Mr. Z, has spent eight years of his life at Brother Rice. Four of them were spent getting a high school education and the other four were spent teaching students and running the band program. He had such a wonderful high school experience he wanted to come back and enlighten the minds of the current students, hoping that they would have a similar experience.

I think he just about did that.

Zielinski grew up just a few minutes down the block in Mount Greenwood. He attended St. Catherine’s for grammar school, Brother Rice for high school, and the University of Dayton for college.

Band started for him in 4th grade. He got hooked on the saxophone and hasn’t looked back since.  Mr. Z’s high school band director, Dan Briggs, was inspirational with his energy and passion while teaching-enlightening him to become a director.

He said, “It was hard not to love music when he was around.”

While Mr. Zielinski taught at Rice he started an Ultimate Frisbee team. It was a way for students to stay active and social during the pandemic when most sports were canceled, and we still had to socially distance. Besides Mr. Z, one of the other moderators was a former Spanish teacher Mary Sullivan.

Mr. Z. said that, “It was great learning so much from someone who played the sport at such a high level.”

This coming fall Mr. Z. will be attending graduate school at Western Michigan University in order to attain a masters degree in conducting. He may continue on into higher education and receive a doctorate or go back to teaching high school. Mr. Z is not completely sure yet but excited for the journey that awaits him.

For the past eight years at Rice, many great experiences have come through his life, but what he will never forget and always take with him is the group of friends that he made.  Mr. Z.  appreciates the guys that he is still friends with today; they are one of the best groups of friends that he could ever ask for.

We will forever remember Mr. Zielinski for all his funny jokes, positive energy, motivation, and the smile he can always put on someone’s face. Brother Rice wishes him luck in his future and whatever else is to come his way.