Zachary grew up on a farm near Broadway, Virginia and graduated from Broadway High School in 1997. He attended Messiah College and received his B.S. in Biology/Teaching Certification in 2001. After teaching in Clovis, New Mexico for a year, he returned to Virginia to teach Biology in Rockingham County Public Schools. He received his M.Ed. in Secondary Education from James Madison University in 2004. Zachary taught 7th grade Life Science, Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology for 11 years in the county schools before beginning his position as Director of Retention in January of 2014.