Students at Gladstone High School in Gladstone, OR, are always asking science department chair and teacher Kevin Zerzan to write their college recommendations. They know that Zerzan not only cares about them, but is an exceptional communicator who knows how to incite change and action. Zerzan played a significant role in planning and developing the school’s Applied Science and Technology Center, which opened on campus in May 2009. Gladstone High School now reports that student scores on state science assessments have increased 15 to 20 percent higher than the state’s average. Zerzan annually partners with Honors English teachers to integrate novels about science into his classes. His courses range from widely-taught high school courses, such as biology to upper-level courses, to ones he initiated and developed himself, such as anatomy, physiology and environmental science. Over the years, Zerzan has developed pre-engineering programs for the Oregon Institute of Technology and Clackamas Community College in addition to his duties at Gladstone High School.
Zerzan’s passion goes beyond science to promoting a healthy and fair school environment for everyone. When Gladstone High’s cell phone policy was causing problems with students and parents, Zerzan came up with a compromise in which students could use phones in the hallways and during lunch, but never in the classroom; the new policy was lauded by students and faculty. He is also a member of the leadership team for Gladstone’s Green School certification program to improve the school’s commitment to sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices.
1989 Willamette University, B.S.