Zac Thriffiley joined Beacon Academy after teaching undergraduate courses and pursuing his Ph.D. in English at Southern Methodist University. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Zac has worked with teenagers and young adults for most of his professional life, from assistant teaching at Chicago's Wilbur Wright College to instructing and moderating students at the oldest private high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While living in Louisiana, Zac volunteered much of his time at Theatre Baton Rouge directing, designing, and performing in productions for young actors from across the southeast region. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from DePaul University with a Master of Arts in English. He anticipates defending his dissertation at Southern Methodist within the next year. Zac lives in Chicago with his two rescue dogs, Pip and Daxyl.