All in the family

Family drew Shelby Academy’s new headmaster Steven Zaslofsky to the area this summer and family is what he says will keep him here.

“The thing I have found most charming about this school is the family-oriented feel,” Zaslofsky said. “We have three teachers who went to school here and grandparents who sent their grandkids here this year.”

Zaslofsky and his wife moved to Shelby County from Arizona so that they could be closer to their daughter and 6-year-old grandson who live in Birmingham. He said he never planned on taking just any job. It just so happened that Shelby Academy’s mission mirrored his own educational philosophy in many ways.

“I enjoy the small community feel we have here. Most of our classes have a 15 to 1 ratio,” Zaslofsky said. “This method gives teachers the chance to get to know each child and customize learning for each.”

He said his main aim as headmaster will be to increase the school’s visibility. He said he wants to maintain the classroom ratio yet increase enrollment back to the school’s height in 2005. That year more than 250 students attended Shelby Academy, he said. Zaslofsky said he plans to do that by improving facilities — the school received a bit of sprucing up before classes began on Tuesday — and by better promoting the school’s assets.

“I don’t think the word is out about how great our programs are,” he said. “Everyone knows the Shelby Academy that wins ball games, but we are also moving forward to the Shelby Academy that excels in academics as well.”

Zaslofsky is originally from New York and has been an educator since 1971. Prior to coming to Shelby Academy he served as the athletics director at St. Michael’s Day School in Tucson, Ariz.