Alumni Profile: John Zack (’82)


March 27, 2020

Throughout Cathedral Prep’s long and detailed history, it has housed many generations of families, and led them on to greater success in their life. Many of these graduates go on to not only promote the good that Cathedral Prep is known for fostering, but also use those talents for helping others, and overall making the world a better place.

John Zack, member of the graduating class of 1982, is a fun and excitable guy. Zack went to Cathedral Prep because it was tradition in his family, and he had a marvelous time at Prep. He learned many important life lessons about maturity and responsibility not only from the teachers but also from his friends.

Friendship has played a big role in Zack’s life. He knew a few of his would-be-graduating classmates since elementary school. He still meets with many of those friends regularly, and they have truly become friends for life. He also sees many members of his graduating class and interacts with other Prep graduates regularly through many facets of his life.

“One of the things that amazed me about Prep was the camaraderie and friendship between classmates,” he said. “It always felt like one big happy family.”

One of his favorite moments from his time at Prep was in 1980 when the basketball team won the state championship for the first time. He called it “one of the best moments to come together [as a school] and celebrate as one unit.” Following the team throughout the season, and traveling from gym to gym was one of his fondest experiences at Prep. He believes the fire and energy that Prep cultivated still burns as bright today as it did when he attended.  This is testament that Prep does raise men of vision in spirit, mind, and body. 

After graduating, Zack went on to attend Clarion University, where he received an undergraduate degree in Business Computer Information Systems. Since then, he has had multiple career paths.  He started his career at Ernst & Young where he worked in their healthcare consulting practice. Then he went on to own and operate a concrete ready-mix and placement company for 20-plus years. He also bought and owned Pulako’s Chocolates with another Cathedral Prep graduate, Joe Hilbert. Today, he acts as a consultant within the concrete, civil engineering and healthcare industries. One of his favorite things to do is work and get things done, so it’s not surprising that he has held many different positions and jobs so far. 

In his spare time, Zack likes to play golf whenever the opportunity arises, and he truly cherishes spending time with family and friends alike. His family also makes an effort to donate to Prep, mostly through its involvement in the Legacy Gala and other beneficiary events.

He enjoys watching all types of sports and is just in general a very fun and inviting individual. A working man at heart, Zack is very goal-determined and has amazing clarity to get things finished and done the way they are meant to. He has gone on to do wonderful things for not only himself but also for the people around him. Hopefully Prep will continue to provide the catalyst for future generations to guarantee success for many.

“One of the things I notice a lot in young people is that they want everything to be instantaneous,” Zack said. “And while society can be to blame for that mentality, just remember to set your sights on your goals, and don’t let life take you; you have to take life, so to speak. Carve out your own direction in your life.” 

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