Jerry Ziskind, retired first grade teacher at Mt. Daniel Elementary School in the City of Falls Church died last Sunday, Dec. 10, at his home after a courageous battle with bladder cancer. He was successfully treated for a sarcoma in his left arm in 2003, and was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2004.
He was born in Jersey City, N.J. on September 29, 1943 and grew up in Secaucus, N.J.
Jerry received his B.A. degree from Rutgers University in American Studies in 1964. He spent the next year in Manchester England studying English Literature and Culture of Great Britain at the University of Manchester. After his return to the U.S., he got a Master of Arts (MAT) in Teaching English from Harvard in 1966. After receiving his MAT, he traveled around the country working as a substitute teacher in Omaha, NE, Glencoe, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Beverly Hills, Calif., and Bellevue, Washington. After a year of traveling and teaching he returned to academic study and began work on a Ph.D. at Catholic University receiving his Ph.D. in Elementary Education in 1975.
He married Rosemary Phillips in 1971. Ben was born in 1977 and Jeff in 1981. Jerry and Rosemary celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in August of this year.
Upon his retirement from teaching at Mt. Daniel, he had taught 18 years in Falls Church City Schools and over 30 years total with the majority of the time teaching 1st grade in public schools in Washington, D.C. and Falls Church City.
He began his teaching career with 5th grade students in D.C. He started his teaching career in Falls Church in 1981. The family moved from Washington D.C. to Falls Church in 1982. Jerry retired from teaching in 1999. He was nominated for the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 1990.
Jerry was very active in Ethical Culture, a humanistic, religious and educational movement. Both he and Rosemary were founding members of the Northern Virginia Ethical Society which spun-off from the Washington Ethical Society in 1983. He served three terms as president of the Board of Trustees, as well as serving on the Long Term Planning Committee, as chair of the Sunday school committee, treasurer, and teacher of Sunday school.
After retirement, Jerry tutored former students, took up needlepoint, practiced Tai Chi, and had more time for gardening. He interviewed both his parents, Morris and Rebecca Ziskind, now deceased, and wrote their biographies. Jerry’s writings after retirement and his father’s story can be found on his web site at http://jerrry.ziskind.com.
He represented Falls Church City on the Commission of Aging and advisory board to the Fairfax area Commission on Aging which provides services to the elderly.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, January 13 at 2 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Ethical Society, at Green Hedges School, 229 Nutley St. N.W., Vienna VA. (703) 631-7081.
To share your favorite memories and tributes please visit www.legacy.com. The family has requested memorial contributions be made in his name to Life With Cancer (www.lifewithcancer.org), Capital Hospice (www.capitalhospice.org), or the Northern Virginia Ethical Society (www.noves.org)