Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Michael Zarett
Jamie-Lynn Sigler stars as ‘Meadow Soprano’ on HBO’s Emmy-Award winning drama “The Sopranos.” Sigler’s performance on the show earned her the 1999 and 2000 Hollywood Reporter Young Star Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series, as well as two ALMA Award nominations for Best Actress in a Drama Series (2001 & 2002). The highly anticipated final season premiered on April 8th, 2007.
Sigler’s talents extend to the stage as well. She made her Broadway debut as ‘Belle’ in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” in October 2002, remaining in the role through February 2003. In the summer of 2001, she starred in the national tour of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” opposite Eartha Kitt. Additional theater roles include New York regional productions of “Annie,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Wiz,” and “Gypsy.”
A survivor of anorexia, Sigler’s story of her battle with an eating disorder, Wise Girl, was published in 2002 to rave reviews. Currently a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association, Sigler regularly speaks across the country educating people about the dangers of eating disorders.
A native of New York, Sigler divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.
Michael Zarett has been teaching in the Jericho School District on Long Island for nineteen years and presently teaches fifth grade at George A. Jackson Elementary School. Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler selected Mr. Zarett, who was her teacher in the fourth grade, as her ‘fabulous teacher’ of choice. “She was very talented then, and she always enjoyed reading her stories to the class,” Mr. Zarett recalls of his former pupil.
Mr. Zarett’s favorite part of teaching is helping children gain confidence in themselves and their own abilities. “There is no greater gift for a teacher than to see students mature as learners and accomplish goals set for them at the beginning of the year,” says Mr. Zarett. “I hope each of my students takes from my class the knowledge that with hard work and effort they can accomplish everything and anything.”
Mr. Zarett earned a Bachelor of the Arts degree in History from Binghamton University and a Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Teaching, he says, was a good fit for him because he always enjoyed working with children and he wanted to do something with his life that would “make a difference.” Mr. Zarett says he is proud to work in a school district comprised of teachers, administrators, parents and school board who value education and who are dedicated to helping all students achieve success.
In the classroom, Mr. Zarett strives to have meaningful interactions with every student on a daily basis. “Every day you try to make a memory,” he says. Another aspect of his educational approach is his holistic view of teaching. “You’re teaching the whole child,” he explains. “There must be a strong academic program in place that also takes into consideration the different talents and abilities each child brings to school with them. It is my responsibility to help each child begin to realize their potential as human beings.”
Mr. Zarett had several inspiring educators of his own along the way. He would like to thank Professor Sarah Elbert from Binghamton University and Dr. Marilyn Cochran-Smith, formerly teaching at the University of Pennsylvania and currently teaching at Boston College, for helping him become the person and teacher he is today.
He credits his wife, Linda, and his children, E. Jay and Rachel, for giving him the life he always dreamed of having.