Jennifer L. Zaccara
B.A., M.A., Trinity; Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Associate Dean of Faculty, English
Holcombe T. Green Chair of English
Work Phone: 860-945-7980
Year Appointed: 2001
"I'm Nobody! Who are you?/Are you - Nobody - too?" Emily Dickinson's poem became a playful saying in my family as I grew up, and it seems so appropriate to begin my short biography with these words. While I will list my educational background and teaching experience, the truth is that I learned nearly everything from my parents - Anthony and Shirley Zaccara - and my Hungarian and Italian grandparents, great-grandparents, and great aunts and uncles. I was lucky enough to have been born as one of the oldest of the numerous grandchildren, and so I knew many of the "ancients," and sat on the floor at their feet to hear the old stories over an over again. One of the best pieces of wisdom I received was from my father: "No amount of reading will mean anything if you don't love people. You have to love people or the rest of the book learning adds up to nothing."
My parents were Fairfield-County nomads who moved nine times within and between the following towns: Newtown, Stratford, Trumbull and Brookfield (where I went to high school). I have three siblings, who are my close friends: Leslie, Glenn and Adam. My father passed away the year before I came to Taft, but my mother continues to be a spirited inspiration and the top sales person in her real estate office in Brookfield.
I love to write critical essays, and I have published a few on Mark Twain. My teaching experience began at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, and then continued at Rye Country Day School, Avon Public High School, the University of Connecticut, Trinity College, the Winsor School (in Boston), and finally, at Taft. Taft has been an integral part of my family ever since my two brothers attended the school. I am the English Department Head and have served as a mid class dean, a volleyball coach, a dorm parent, an intramural running coach and a member of the Global Leadership and Spiritual Life committees. In the summers, I work for a month at the MMLA (Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy) as the site director in Poultney, Vermont, and then spend August at my house in Cohasset, Massachusetts, with my two sons, Bryce and Keefe, and our dogs Dakota and Tahoe. Bryce is graduating from Colorado College with a degree in international political economy and looking forward to moving to Denver and working before gradaute school. Keefe is a midshipman at Annapolis, rowing on the Division I Crew team.