Employee Spotlight: Mariah Zahn

“There are so many barriers that hold children back from all that they can accomplish… education should not be one of those [barriers].”

-Mariah Zahn


As a growing startup, we recognize that our success is determined by the talented people we can attract and retain within our company. Part of our retention vision is to prioritize incentive and recognition programs, and this month we are showcasing our first team member that we feel embodies so many of our core values daily.

Mariah started as an intern with TeleTeachers just two months after we opened our doors. What I specifically remember about Mariah’s interview was she seemed fearless, even as the picture of ‘This is a startup. We don’t have all the answers.’ was painted.

You can hear more about Mariah’s intern experience in this video. 


Mariah continues to embody the core value of We Accept the Challenge. In her day-to-day with TeleTeachers, she is reaching out to schools who need us and championing the value of this innovative, online model. Her favorite part of the job? Talking to people. Communicating our vision and value. And she is great at it!

We held a recognition virtual coffee meet-up with our team where the game of Trivia, tailored to get to know Mariah better, revealed she earned her motorcycle license in high school and drove her dad’s motorcycle all summer. It’s no wonder startup sales and marketing do not scare her.

Currently in her last semester at the University of Wisconsin- Madison (Go Badgers!), Mariah is not only committed to the social good of TeleTeachers but also her local community. She is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and an advocate for spending time where it matters to the world. When asked, here are other charities she thinks are doing a stellar job and encourages people to explore:

Special Olympics: Providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. 

Autism Speaks: Through advocacy and support, Autism Speaks is increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism. They are advancing research into the causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Vital Voices: Women driving global change. Vital Voices is working to close the gap by partnering with some of the most daring women leaders to end gender gaps everywhere.

As a team, we choose to live inspired. Why? Like our hope for our students, we take advantage of all life has to offer. We know how to stay balanced so we can bring our whole and best selves to work every day. It’s an overall belief that we are more than the job we do. Mariah always seems to effortlessly keep this value a priority and is providing us the most adorable reminders in Slack to stay inspired.

Like this one…




“Kinsley and I enjoyed a walk by the Terrace then went home & said “Alexa, play happy music!” Now have the windows open making some more calls!” 🎉





So what does the team think of her?

“Her passion for excellence is commendable. She never hesitates to take on a challenge and get results.”

“She is fun to work with because she always has a smile on her face and is in good spirits, bringing enthusiasm to TeleTeachers.”

“She is a great example of living "We accept the challenge" by lending a helping hand on any project and being willing to research any topic presented to her. AND she MAY have inspired our first family Turkey Trot this past November.”

“She is excited about her work, brings new ideas to the company and makes them happen!”

Three words to describe Mariah: cheerful, enthusiastic, creative.

Thank you for being you. For taking a chance on this startup. And for bringing your best self to work everyday.

Posted by

Emily Smith, Founder & CEO

Emily Smith is the Founder and CEO of TeleTeachers, a Chicago-based telehealth services company working with schools to ensure every student has the opportunity to communicate, learn, and thrive- no matter where they live.