LEARNING AT THE LIBRARY: Teen helps others ‘Get The Edge’ in science

Zachary Glick (back row, center) tutors students in science.


CLOSTER, NEW JERSEY —— Zachary Glick, a 17-year-old junior at Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest, is sharing his academic acumen with other teens and youngsters at the Closter Public Library. Zachary is an honors student and National Honor Society science prodigy with SAT scores that are through the roof: Biology SAT II 800/800 and Chemistry SAT II 770/800.

In September, Zachary established a tutoring service called “Get The Edge” in collaboration with the Closter Public Library. Every Tuesday, from 5:30-7:30, he volunteers to help middle school students with their studies in physical science (taught in seventh and eighth grade) as well as high school students who need help in biology and chemistry.

Before the program launched, Zachary reached out to seventh and eighth grade teachers to review their curricula for the year. He also spoke with guidance counselors and Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest science teachers, hung up signs in local stores and the library, and printed up business cards.

At the Closter library, students can sign up as needed, or they can secure a standing appointment. Library Director Ruth Rando said she is delighted with the program.

“Zach is a wonderful young man with a warm and upbeat personality. It is admirable that he is giving back to the community. With volunteer tutoring programs like this, we hope to attract more students to the library,” she said.

Zachary has a unique, regular pupil, Justin Kim, a sixth-grader with a passion for chemistry.

“I have been able to teach him 10th grade honors chemistry concepts which he has mastered, such as organic compounds and the combustion of methanol,” Zachary said.

Justin said his lessons with Zachary are “fun and easy to understand.”

“It is not only amazing, but tremendously rewarding,” said Zachary.

Justin’s mother, Sonia, is impressed at how well her 11-year-old is mastering advanced science, and she calls Zachary “an outstanding teacher.”

Zachary with 11-year-old Justin Kim.

Zachary’s talent for teaching comes from his philosophy that “If you can explain something out loud, it means that you know it really well. So, I practice by explaining advanced science concepts to my family. I make things understandable by breaking them down to their simplest components.”

Zachary not only loves teaching, he is a wellspring of knowledge. He has an overall 4.7 GPA (weighted) and receives straight As in honors biology, honors chemistry and AP chemistry. He has participated in the New Jersey Science League Biology I Competition and helped his four-person team score in the top 10 percent in state. His New Jersey Science League Chemistry I Competition team placed 10th in state (out of 232 teams). This year, he is going to compete in the statewide New Jersey Physics Competition.

With a year and a half to go before graduation, Zachary has already been looking at colleges such as Princeton, Yale and MIT, and he foresees a career in bioengineering.

As if his staggering IQ were not enough, Zachary is also a talented musician and plans on having a double major in music when he begins college. He’s been playing classical guitar since the age of 3 and clarinet for eight years.

“My father is a musician, and being surrounded by music inspired me to play,” he explains.

Zachary is also proficient at chess.

But, for now, Glick is concentrating on his tutoring at the Closter Public Library.

“I love teaching and I hope to gain more students this year,” he said. “With the second semester of school approaching, many students will be facing the last opportunities to raise their grades.”

The Closter library also hopes that more students will take Zachary up on his offer. He is providing an opportunity for young students of all ages as advertised on the quote that he printed on his business card: “A knowledgeable tutor familiar with the Northern Valley curriculum can help you soar ahead and give you the edge you need for the school year.”

Students interested in free science tutoring with Zachary Glick can contact the Closter Public Library to reserve time: (201) 768-4197.
Photos by Hillary Viders