Degrees and Certifications:
Meet Mr. Zayas
My name is Nelson Zayas. I am Taino (American Indian) from Boriken (you know as Puerto Rico). I grew up in Harlem, Washington Heights, and Sunset Park sections of New York City. After working in various jobs, I became an Emergency Medical Technician, then a Paramedic, and then a Physician Assistant. I was hired as the sole Physician Assistant to pilot a Fast-Track at the Jacobi Hospital Emergency Department in the Bronx in 1990. Many Emergency Departments now have Fast-Track Departments. I also worked one year in neurosurgery for Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. These experiences led me to open doors for other Physician Assistants by being the first PA to work in the Emergency Department at Harris Community General Hospital in Sullivan County. I was also one of two Physician Assistants hired at Horton Hospital Emergency Department. At St. Agnes Hospital, when all the "house doctors" were replaced, I was one of several Physician Assistants hired to replace them. I usually held a second job working in the Emergency Rooms, but my day job was working as a primary healthcare provider at the Woodridge Health Center in Sullivan County, where I provided family practice services to the uninsured and under-insured.
Once my two children entered elementary school, I spent time volunteering in the classroom. As I did this, and as I became involved in the Boy Scout program, I realized that I liked working with and teaching children. I decided to go back to school for my Master's in Education PreK-6 in 2003 at Mount St. Mary's College in Newburgh. I have also completed a Master's from Walden University in Integrating Technology in the Classroom and I completed my administrative certification from StonyBrook University.
I am involved in many hobbies which include astronomy, orienteering, hiking, kayaking,and learning about the past. I have done colonial period re-enacting for over ten years. I have done work at Washington's Headquarters, Knox's Headquarters, and the Cantonment in Newburgh. I have also spent time out West learning indigenous living skills. I bring all this knowledge into the classroom to share with my students.
I am the owner of Nelson Zayas Tax Services where I provide quality tax preparation/bookkeeping services at lower cost than the chain tax stores. I am also co-owner (with my wife Lisa) of Sacred Ways where we provide spiritual services, clinical herbalist services, and hand-made spiritual wear. I am also co-founder and Treasurer of Willow Roots, Inc., a 501(c)3 that feeds the Pine Plains community by working with local farms to provide organic, fresh produce.
Mr. Zayas's Mission Statement
The mission of a school is to provide a place where all can learn and develop their individual talents and gifts to their fullest potential. In aspiring to accomplish this, I will be guided by the following personal beliefs:
- I believe everyone can learn.
• I believe that everyone does not learn the same way or at the same pace.
• I believe I can contribute to everyone’s learning.
• I believe learning is a life-long process.
• I believe people are individuals and differences must be respected.
• I believe for learning to take place, the learner needs to be safe
from any physical, verbal and/or psychological harm.
• I believe for learning to take place, the learner must be engaged.
• I believe that by modeling positive behavior, I can instill the same in others.
• I believe I need to continue learning different teaching styles and
philosophies to help ensure that all students learn.
• I believe standardized tests should test what was taught and should
only be used to help determine where a learner needs help.
• I believe no one test should be the sole determinant of graduation,
promotion, or teacher evaluation.
• I believe I should be evaluated on my ability to accomplish this mission statement.
• I believe that ultimately, the responsibility for learning lies with the learner.