Faculty Spotlight: Ari Zito

Teacher - Upper School English and Director of Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy
Department and Program Affiliations:
Breakthrough, Upper School, Boys Basketball

Asst. Coach, Boys' Varsity Basketball

Academic background: 
B.A., The College of Letters and French Studies, Wesleyan University
M.A., English, Middlebury College 

How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
I have been at Norfolk Academy for 12 years.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:
When you have a great teacher, the benefits of that association stay with you throughout life. I’ve had teachers who have done that for me, and hope I can provide that to some degree.

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
I get to work with bright young people who like to interact with you. Coming from a public school background where students generally avoided teachers outside of class, I’m energized by the student-teacher dynamic here.

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
...it’s an independent school with a strong and evolving public purpose and role in the greater area.

Last book read:
I just finished re-reading Bob Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume I for a course I’m teaching next year on biographical writing. It’s spiritual in a pluralistic way, which I appreciate.

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?  
Read, of course. Work out. Eat Mrs. Zito’s delicious cooking while sitting at the table with her and our two kids, Isaac and Louisa. Watch a good movie. I really liked "The Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."
Favorite food?
Pastrami on rye from the Route 58 Deli.

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
James Franco. Franco or no one at all!
Fun fact your students might not know about you/might find surprising:
I have a rapping alter-ego named “Ay-Z” (rhymes with “Jay-Z”) who has performed in past summers at our Breakthrough program’s Celebration Show. He’s currently retired, for the second time.

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
relevant at every age. Got to stay on your toes!