Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Zanabria Teaches Middle School Biology

Cornell University graduate is dedicated to educating students


Mr. Schmerler

Ms. Zanabria teaches middle school biology at Passaic Prep Academy.

Aimee Zanabria is a biology teacher here at Passaic Preparatory Academy, where she teaches seventh- and eighth-graders. She attended Cornell University, where she studied to teach biology and said she wishes to earn more degrees as the years go on. She encourages students to always do their absolute best and work hard. When she was a student, she said she liked science because of the labs.

Over her four years as a teacher, including two at Prep, Ms. Zanabria said she has learned to have more patience because in her first year of teaching she would yell a lot. Ten years from now, she still sees herself as a teacher, but with a family including a “wonderful husband” and hopefully with another degree. 

Ms. Zanabria said that the person who inspired her the most was her father. 

“My father would always say that he came to this country for me,” she said. “A saying he would always say to me is ‘With education, you will become better in life.’” 

Education is super important to her because it has a special place in her heart. 

As for students who struggle in school, Ms. Zanabria offers this advice: “Stay after school with a teacher, ask for extra help when needed. It is not that hard.” Teachers will never judge you if you ask for extra help in class and or after school, she said.

Ms. Zanabria understands that students are going to mess up sometimes. But she doesn’t understand those who do not put in the effort.

“That behavior disappoints me all the time,” she said. “Sometimes it makes me sad because they know that they could’ve done something better.” 

Ms. Zanabria likes to help students. Back when she was in school, she said she was super thankful for her teachers. She was thankful because they had done enough for her, but she now realizes that the teachers she had did a lot for her. Now, she wants to be one of those helpful teachers.

Her biggest accomplishment in life was graduating college, as she was the first in her family to go to college and graduate with a degree. She hopes to get a doctorate sometime later in life.

The Boulevard asked her: “What would you do if you found $1 million in a garbage bag on the street?” She responded, “I would buy a house, buy a car, and if I have extra money left, I would go on vacation and take a long break.”

Ms. Zanabria would deserve that break. Education is the most important thing to her, and she wants to thank her father for giving her the most important piece of advice: To get an education.