Jeff Zaveloff

Jeff Zaveloff
Jeff Zaveloff

Jeff Zaveloff

Class of 1985

Nationality: United States of America

Years and grades you attended at YIS: 1979 - 1984. Grade 6 - gr. 12.

Please describe a memorable moment from your time at YIS.

Field trips were always the highlight of the year. They gave each class an opportunity to bond and form more personal relationships with one another. There's nothing like a week in close quarters to teach people how to interact with each other!

Which teachers played an important role in your time at YIS?

I don't want to leave anyone out, but Stelarc, Ian Kerr and Peter Scrase were instrumental in helping me to find out who I was and how I could contribute. They were willing to look past a little youthful rebelliousness and see that I had a desire to learn and grow. They channeled my frustrations at being bored with the repetition of standard learning in a useful way that allowed me to become a leader among my peers and laid the foundation for how I would live my life going forward. I owe them a huge debt.

Do you keep in touch regularly with YIS classmates? If so, please tell us about any particular reunions you have had.

I keep in touch with the majority of people I went to school with, from those 2-3 class years above and below my grade. You have to understand that my graduating class was 15 people, so it was imperative that everyone in grades 7-12 got to know each other. I attended the London reunion in 2011 and a mini reunion in Los Angeles a couple of years later. I am looking forward to the 2018 Japan reunion because it seems like a lot of people will be attending this one.

What grade at YIS would you want to relive, and why? Would you do anything differently?

I would go back to grade 11. I was 17 and had no responsibilities but was old enough to be able to enjoy what Yokohama and Tokyo had to offer. Those of us who were around at the time managed to enjoy ourselves without getting into too much trouble. I wouldn't change a thing. That experience made me who I am today and I formed lifetime friendships because of it.

What did you do after you left YIS?

I went straight to college after high school (Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts). After college I remained in Massachusetts, got married and started a family. I visited YIS one time in 1986.

Do you feel like you still have a close affinity to YIS, and if so, why do you think that is?

YIS will always remain very special to me. The relationships I formed there are unparalleled to any other I have formed since. Once a Dragon, always a Dragon. YIS is a family that is always there for each other and you can see that in the way we all still tend to keep in touch.

Tell us about where you are based now, and what your occupation/lifestyle is, and what path you hope to pursue in the future?

Today I work as an Application Developer for Harvard Management Company (we manage Harvard University's endowment). I hope to be retired before I turn 60 and turn my attention to more charitable endeavors. I'm a firm believer that money isn't everything.

Given your achievements and experiences, what advice would you give to YIS students in Gr. 11 or 12?

Please enjoy these last couple of years at YIS and know that decisions that you make will affect you for the rest of your life. Cherish the relationships you have built and always stay in touch with your classmates. You've probably spent more time with them than your own family and they know you the best. Learn to accept people from all walks of life. This is probably the lesson YIS teaches the best.