“Mr. Z” remembered as leader

When you head up the driveway of Shelby Academy, everything appears pretty much the same. But inside the hallways of our school, there have been a lot of changes, good and bad, over the last three years.

One of the biggest changes has been in leadership.

Our longtime headmaster left Shelby Academy after 20-plus years in the summer of 2007. His replacement was only in charge for one year.

When school opened last August, the new man in charge was Steve Zaslofsky, better known to students as “Mr. Z.” He was quite different from what the students at Shelby Academy were used to in a headmaster. Mr. Z had moved to Alabama from Arizona, but was originally from New York and still had quite an accent.

It was a tough adjustment at first. He talked different, looked a little different, had a totally different way of doing things and was not quite used to our southern way of life. To be honest, it was downright weird and uncomfortable at first. But as the year went along, things began to ease up a little.

Maybe it was because he began to get accustomed to our “southern ways,” or maybe it was because we began to settle in to his style of doing things.

He took over the school at a time when things weren’t looking too bright, but he faced that adversity with us and helped find a way to keep the doors of Shelby Academy open.

He had good intentions and high hopes for the future of our school and I think maybe all the students began to realize that he was on our side. Just at the time when things were beginning to look the brightest, the tables turned.

Mr. Z was taken from us May 25 after handing out his first set of diplomas to the class of 2009 just three days before. So, for the third straight year we will again have a new principal. Hopefully, whoever that is will be able to pick up where Mr. Z left off and continue to move things in the right direction.

One thing is for sure: Steve Zaslosky will always be remembered at Shelby Academy.

Colton Wingard is a rising senior at Shelby Academy.