Earlier this month, I met Bobby Znak while we were getting haircuts at Mirror Mirror in North Bend.
As one does when getting your do done, we started chatting about our respective jobs and lives in the valley. I discovered Znak is a Mount Si High School (MSHS) Social Studies teacher and an avid fan of the TV sitcom ‘The Office.’
Znak lives in Snoqualmie and has taught at MSHS since 2012, but his connection to the valley goes further. He moved to the Snoqualmie Valley when I was ten years old in 1993 and graduated from Cedarcrest high school in Duvall in 2001.
Says Znak, “I wanted to be a teacher in the valley because I was inspired to push myself professionally and academically in my senior year by my social studies teacher. I wanted to do that for others in the way it was done for me. I understand the challenges of being a valley kid. I was one.”
Now married with a one-year-old child, Bobby likes to record and perform music in his spare time as a hobby, traveling to experience new things, but always loves to come home to the valley.
And you know what else Znak loves? The American TV version of ‘The Office.’
The Office was and is a show that helps Bobby relax, unwind, cope with challenging situations, and laugh when he needs it. He calls it “the best show ever created,” saying it hits the audience on every level-laughter, sadness, love, disdain, joy-in the best way.
While Znak cannot remember the exact time he got into the American version of the office on TV, he knows he fell in love right away with the show. He believes this show possesses the most incredible balance of comedy, relationships between characters, emotion and heart, and overall relatability.
Some fans of The Office can tell you exactly how many times they have gone through the show. While Znak cannot tell you exactly how many times he’s watched every episode, he imagines it is at least 7 to 10 times.
The teacher’s MSHS classroom is full of office memorabilia, Funko pops of office characters, inspirational office quotes, etc. He even has the iconic office sign on the entrance door to his room; the same goes for his home in Snoqualmie.
When Office co-stars Jenna Fischer (Pam), and Angela Kinsey (Angela) started the podcast “Office Ladies,“ Znak was afforded another avenue to pursue his interest in the show. When listening to that podcast, he learned that Steve Carell, who played the lead character of Michael Scott in the show, had never been awarded an Emmy for his portrayal of Michael Scott.
Says Znak, “If you go through the entire series and watch Carnell’s performance, it is nothing short of masterful. He can break your heart, make you laugh so hard you can’t breathe, and everything in between. I know I have experienced just about every emotion and watching that show through his performance.”
While many other actors on the show also deserve recognition and awards for their work, Znak believes that Steve Carell deserves it the most. To him, it is a gross oversight by the Academy that he was never awarded an Emmy for this performance. As the show is no longer airing, he cannot receive an award for that performance, but it is within their power to award him a lifetime achievement award for his performance on the show.
Znak was driven to start a change.org petition to achieve this goal because it was something he could do. Being a social studies teacher from a small town in Washington state, he does his best to focus on the more significant issues that affect our society, but also believes that the arts are essential and that if we see a small thing that can be made right, we should address that as well.
Ultimately, the goal is to get everyone involved the recognition they deserve for this wonderful show. Znak believes the best way to put the spotlight on this wonderful show is to get Carrell a lifetime achievement award for his work on the show, and that will hopefully trickle down to everyone else involved.
Znak has no personal desire for the spotlight. He wants this show and this actor who has helped him so much over the years to get the recognition he feels is deserved. He knows this is a long shot but hopes, with lots of assistance, he can make it happen.
Click HERE to sign the petition and help Bobby out!
[If you’d like to add to your Office collection, local company Papersalt can help! Check out all their official Office themed merchandise]