Ellen Mary Zimmerli knew that she wanted to become a teacher since she was in third grade. Fast forward, with more than three decades of educational experience, she is a reading specialist with St. John Vianney Regional School and an adjunct professor of reading and English as a Second Language with Lehigh Carbon Community College. Throughout her career, Ms. Zimmerli has garnered experience working with students of all age groups. Until 2022, she was a music and art teacher with the St. John Vianney Regional School, before which she taught music for the Diocese of Allentown, the Lehigh University Child Care Center, and the Lehigh Conservatory. Ms. Zimmerli is an avid musician in her spare time and has performed with a music ensemble at her alma mater, Moravian University. She sings and plays the flute, recorder, mandolin, and piano.
As a student at Moravian University, Ms. Zimmerli graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education in 1988. She matriculated at Lehigh University and earned a Master of Education as a reading specialist in 1998. Beginning her career as a teacher in 1989 at the Sacred Heart School in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Ms. Zimmerli later taught pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, preschool, and elementary music. For more than 25 years, she has been involved with choirs, serving as a member of the Christ Church Choir in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 1995 to 1997. Moreover, she spent two decades as a member of the St. Catharine of Siena Cathedral Choir and has been a member of the St. Theresa Choir since 2004. In 2013, she assumed the position of choir director for the Young Musicians Society with St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. Among her myriad accomplishments, Ms. Zimmerli considers witnessing the progression of her students her most notable professional achievement.
Going beyond what is expected, Ms. Zimmerli has contributed to her field as an author of classroom materials, including a critical reading e-book, instructor’s manual, and test bank. She touts the importance of teamwork and cooperation between co-workers in providing students with a high-quality education and continues to learn from her mistakes and grow as an educator. Ms. Zimmerli is a member of the Suzuki Association of America and Musikgarten early childhood music education and has been recognized for her dedication to her field with the designation of Marquis Who’s Who Top Educator. In the coming years, she aims to write a book and plans to launch her own Musikgarten classes.