HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – Dan Zaleski is someone locals would describe as a dedicated teacher.
“He taught my mom and my aunt and my uncle so it was really fun having him get to teach me,” says Marlee Johnson, one of his students.
But students say:
“He’s been teaching for 40 years and he’s awesome he teaches us everything we need to know, he’s very nice and he doesn’t get angry a lot and we do a lot of experiments and he’s really good at teaching math and history.”
“He makes every single lesson more interesting, and he makes learning fun which a lot of teachers can’t really do,” says Lemuel Felix, one of his students.
Every year, Mr. Zaleski takes his students on a field trip on a Hurricane trail, but this year is his last. After 38 years and teaching thousands of children about Hurricane’s history, he’s retiring.
“I’ll miss my students more than anything else, for 40 years this is all I’ve done and I’ve really enjoyed being around the youth of this community,” says Zaleski.
This is why Hurricane Elementary Principal Matthew Lowe says he worked with the city council to name what was once the ‘East Cinder Knoll Trail’ to the ‘Dan Zaleski Trail’ after leaving such a positive mark for many years on the community.
“It’s one I’ve been going up since I was a teenager and my grandparents and great-grandparents are some of the earliest settlers of Hurricane on my mother’s side and so from up on the hill I can see the valley they settled,” he says.
Zaleski says it’s a tremendous honor for this trail to be named after him and he’s excited to spend more time with his grandchildren during his retirement. His students say, they will miss seeing his face every day in school.