by ANDREW CARLINS
This is the fourth edition of the Hidden Heroes column of Sider Press. For those of you who are new to the column, welcome. This edition’s Hidden Hero is none other than Mr. Jeremy Zylbert.
During the school day Mr. Zylbert is in the classroom or Social Studies resource center, either teaching personal finance, subbing for absent teachers, or helping students who need it most. He explains how “it’s nice to be in a position where to wake up is not a struggle” because he is “excited to be around students and colleagues.” Mr. Zylbert treasures his role, as it allows him to interact with a large portion of the student body and gain an understanding and appreciation for all that OHS has to offer. Mr. Zylbert takes his role one step further, however. He sees it as his responsibility to “be at as many Oceanside events as possible” which is a truly selfless pursuit. I can attest to seeing him attend numerous games, plays, and community events, always making himself a visible and active supporter of OHS.
Mr. Zylbert’s heroism does not stop with his teaching. He is also a current adviser for Key Club and Ethics Bowl. As the adviser for Key Club, he is responsible for ensuring that the many community service events that Key Club participates in operate smoothly. Mr. Zylbert, as Key Club adviser, makes it easy for high school students to bond with elementary school students, all while helping those that are less fortunate in our community. He oversees Key Club’s participation in larger Oceanside events ranging from the “Oceanside Kiwanis Super Bowl Pancake Breakfast” to the two blood drives held at OHS each year. Additionally, in his role as the Ethics Bowl adviser, he encourages an environment of collaboration and discussion. He explains how “Ethics Bowl is really a collaborative effort between opposing teams… where we try to build on each others’ perspectives.” Recently, because of his superb advising and coaching, Oceanside’s Ethics Bowl team won numerous matches at the annual Long Island High School Ethics Bowl at Hofstra University. However, Mr. Zylbert explains how, to him, it’s not about the competition, but rather the most important thing is that “students understand more diverse perspectives than they did before they joined the club.” Go Mr. Zylbert!
Mr. Zylbert, although young, has ages of wisdom, as I can personally confirm. In fact, because of his humor and helpful advice, many students call him “Dr. Zylbert,” or more simply “Dr. Z.” Regardless, he hopes all students “just get involved; there are so many organizations in this school.” Reflecting on his own personal experience, Mr. Zylbert reminds all students to “have their eye on the future, whether it be in the short term or in the long term,” and he hopes to contribute something of value to them in the process. Mr. Zylbert does not just give advice to others, he takes action on his words. He makes it his goal to help students, getting to know them on a personal level and guiding them toward their aspirations.
Finally, after knowing Mr. Zylbert for two years, being his student, participating in Ethics Bowl under his advisement, and interviewing him, I can honestly say that his heroism is invaluable to the OHS community and the Oceanside community as a whole. I cannot imagine an Oceanside High School without heroes like Mr. Zylbert. Mr. Zylbert thanks his students for making his job enjoyable and dynamic, and I would like to personally thank him for being a highlight of my OHS experience: Thank you, Mr. Zylbert!
Thank you Mr. Zylbert for agreeing to be interviewed for this article.