Jean Zimmerman and her husband, Pete, enjoy a loving moment during an Alaskan cruise.
Jean M. Zimmerman
Supervisor of Occupational & Physical Therapy, School District of Palm Beach County
Home: Tequesta, Fla.
Years in industry: 20
Notable previous jobs: Pediatric physical therapist at Newington (Conn.) Children’s Hospital.
How did you get your start in the industry?
As a school-based physical therapist, I became concerned about how students arrived at school in their wheelchairs. After boarding school buses to investigate, I realized I had a unique expertise to offer. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Current job duties?
I supervise a staff of 40 occupational and physical therapists at the School District of Palm Beach County (Fla.). I also provide training and presentations on the needs of preschool children and special-needs students.
Top achievements in life?
Making a difference in the lives of special-needs students and their families. Spending time in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia teaching physical therapists in these countries about working with special-needs children. I had approximately $10,000-worth of wheelchairs and equipment donated to bring with me.
I enjoy traveling with my husband, Pete, collecting cat figurines, shopping and decorating for Christmas.
Favorite book or movie?
All Robin Cook novels. I enjoy his works, as they are medical mysteries.
Most interesting place you’ve been?
Poland, which is the native country of both my parents and grandparents. I had the opportunity to meet four of my first cousins and their families on the farm where my dad was raised. I also experienced first hand the heritage, food and hospitality that I grew up with in a Polish family.
Strangest job you’ve had?
While working my way through college to become a physical therapist, I worked two summers on a Christmas-card factory assembly line.
Something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Pete and I won an international ballroom dance competition. Also, I thought about becoming a nun.