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Howard County’s Jody Zepp – 2015 Maryland Teacher of the Year

Jody Zepp’s career change was a drastic one. Zepp brings to the classroom a unique range of public relations and management experience with companies like the Los Angeles Philharmonic, DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group, and the William Morris Talent Agency. Zepp learned from teachers in the corporate world who build relationships by understanding stakeholders and their policy agendas, and through an ability to read personalities. Little did she know then these skills would be instrumental in classroom success and with student achievement. After seven years in the business, Zepp returned to Maryland, or as she likes to say, “I ran away toward home,” to her true vocation: teaching.

Coming from a long line of educators, Zepp learned early that striving for justice, equity, and opportunity in the classroom is a worthy and honorable endeavor. Witnessing her father’s influential role in integrating Carroll County in the 1960s, Zepp learned that going to the mat on principle—for that which is just—is a moral and academic imperative.

“The best for the best of students is the best for all students.”

Zepp is dedicated to the belief that education is an equalizer, “The best for the best of students is the best for all students.” Zepp’s accomplishments include increased minority enrollment in AP courses and increased minority passing ratios on college and state exams.

Zepp has written on the traits of a good teacher as a guest blogger on the Superintendent’s blog. The Maryland State Department of Education recently launched “TOY Stories,” a biweekly blog from the State’s Teachers of the Year.

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