Dr. Nicholas Zapadka

Phone: (571) 252-2870


Degrees and Certifications:

Ed.D. - University of Virginia

Dr. Nicholas Zapadka

Greetings to the students, families, and friends of the Tolbert family! I am ecstatic to begin my fourth year in our community serving as assistant principal, and helping to continue our school's legacy of caring, community, and learning. It has been a true pleasure getting to know our staff, students, and families, and it's easy to understand why these three groups combine to make Tolbert such a special place to learn and grow. Though I could name hundreds of things that I love about our school, my top three would contain the following:


- At Tolbert, our fabulous teachers are on the cutting edge of authentic, 21st-century, student centered instruction. Our project-based learning and personalized learning initiatives have led to increased student engagement and academic progress. Our staff work so hard to provide a meaningful and fun learning environment for our students.


- At Tolbert, we support students through a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS). This means that we are consistently evaluating the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional progress of our students and quickly intervening when necessary. Students do not "fall through the cracks" at Tolbert and are always receiving what they need to be successful. 


- At Tolbert, our community comes together to enhance our students' experiences. A few examples include our PTA, our Dads of Great Students program, our community podcast, as well as yearly events like Stories Under the Stars, our 5th grade party, Family Science Night, and our Cultural Fair. I encourage you to be involved with our school in some way!


I completed my undergraduate degree in history at snowy Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and then transitioned back into the city to complete a Master’s Degree and teaching certification at the University of Pittsburgh. I have also earned an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from the George Washington University and recently a doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Virginia. In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing tennis and soccer, and spending time with my wonderful family. No weekend is complete without watching Arsenal, my favorite football club. My wife and I are also passionate world travelers and always planning our next adventure. Our favorite city is Cologne, Germany, where we both studied at the local university and were engaged!


Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have about your son/daughter’s progress. In most cases I will respond within 24 hours. I am always happy to meet with families at Tolbert. Looking forward to another great year!