Maryland State Teacher of the Year, 2015
Coming from a long line of educators, Jody learned very early that striving for justice, equity and opportunity in the classroom is a worthy and honorable endeavor. As a daughter who witnessed her father integrate Carroll County in the mid-1960s, Jody learned that “going to the mat” on principle, for that which is just, is a moral and academic imperative. To that end, she sought and found a way to serve in minority-majority schools with 35% FARMs and over 60 languages. Jody is dedicated to the belief that “education is an equalizer” and, as a result, Ms. Zepp’s greatest accomplishments include increased minority enrollment in AP courses and increased minority passing ratios on college and state exams. Over the last 4 years, Jody’s students, in return, have nominated her for the National Society for High School Scholars Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award, for which she is a 3-time recipient. As a teacher of both AP and differentiated courses in Psychology and Government, Ms. Zepp is passionate about bridging the Achievement Gap and believes that “students cannot talk about a future until they can see one.” For recognition of her students’ achievement and success, Jody Zepp has received numerous accolades including the 2014 Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award for Howard County; the 2014 Howard County Teacher of the Year Award; and the 2014 Howard County Public Schools GT and Special Education Advisory Committee Recognition Award. Ms. Zepp is also a 4-time recipient of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and a McDonalds Ray Kroc Teacher Achievement Award winner. Ms. Zepp earned a B.A. in Political Science with a Psychology minor summa cum laude from McDaniel College and a master’s degree in Political Science magna cum laude from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Ms. Zepp’s Maryland State Department of Education Certification Practicum and Coursework were completed at McDaniel College.
Member of NNSTOY
We are a network of State Teachers of the Year and Finalists who use our teacher leadership to ensure that every student receives an outstanding education. We do this through our focus on practice, policy and advocacy.We Believe...
- Every student has a right to a high-quality education, regardless of background, race, gender, disability or socio-economic status.
- To achieve educational excellence for all students, we must transform and support the teaching profession.
- It is imperative that we involve our nation’s expert teachers in conversations about improving education.
- Teacher leaders will transform the teaching profession and create, implement and sustain systems to solve our toughest educational challenges.
- We must prepare our country’s future workforce to be competitive in a global economy and participate in a diverse, democratic country.
- Educators must partner with families and communities on behalf of our nation’s children.