Like any teacher, John Zaccheus must wait to see the fruits of his labor.
What makes his job as an instructor at New Community’s Automotive Training Center worthwhile is witnessing a student complete the course and launch a successful career in the automotive industry.
“It’s when I see my student get a job and do well at that job,” Zaccheus said of the most rewarding part of his job, which he began at New Community in 2013.
Former students such as Kennard Irving, a single dad who was hired by Gensinger Volkswagen in Clifton earlier this year, credit Zaccheus’ impact on their careers.
Current automotive student Ahmad Bowers said that Zaccheus has a reputation for being an effective teacher.
“He breaks things down very easily,” said Bowers, 32. “He holds up his end of the bargain.”
For Zaccheus, who worked for years in the automotive industry before transitioning into a teaching gig, equipping his students to succeed is his ultimate goal.
“I want them to excel in life,” Zaccheus said. “Above the sky is the limit.”
Zaccheus epitomizes what it means to be a team player, according to Director of Workforce Development Rodney Brutton, who supervises Zaccheus.
“John comes in early, stays late and sacrifices his personal time to meet the needs of our students,” Brutton said. A number of recent graduates from NCC’s Automotive Technician Training Program have secured jobs as technicians at Ford, Volkswagen, Infinity, Toyota, Sansone Automall and other auto retailers, according to Brutton.
“Because of John’s commitment to excellence, our students are well prepared and are proud representatives of the New Community Workforce Development Center,” Brutton said.
Zaccheus, in turn, credits Brutton and his colleagues in Workforce for collectively being a supportive team.
Before coming to NCC, Zaccheus said he worked as assistant service manager at Mullane Ford in Bergenfield and as the service manager at Pep Boys in Hackensack. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering from Virginia State University in 1986.
Born in Ibadan, Nigeria, Zaccheus is the second oldest of 13 siblings. He moved to New Jersey in 1981, leaving behind his former job as a quality control officer for Volkswagen in Nigeria. As a young father, he decided to switch to teaching so that he could spend more time with his four children and worked for the New York City Board of Education as a vocational automotive instructor. In his younger years, Zaccheus was an avid soccer player and now enjoys tennis during his leisure time.