SOUTH KINGSTOWN – For two South Kingstown teachers, last week was a week to remember.
After 24 years as an educator, Matunuck Elementary School Principal Debra Zepp was honored at the Rhode Island State House last week as the Rhode Island Elementary School Principal of the Year. Also, with 18 years experience as an educator in the South Kingstown School District, Broad Rock Middle School sixth grade counselor Sharon Schmid was honored as the South Kingstown Teacher of the Year out of 16 nominees.
Debra Zepp began teaching in 1987 at Wakefield Elementary School and continued for 16 years teaching third and fourth grade. In addition to students, Zepp became a teacher of teachers, educating fellow teachers in the GEMS-NET program before becoming Matunuck Elementary School Principal. GEMS-NET is a collaboration between the URI School of Education and eight Rhode Island school districts, which is designed to increase scientific content knowledge and inquiry teaching skills of elementary school teachers and in turn build the inquiry-based science and writing skills of their students.
Despite her hard work educating both teachers and students in South Kingstown, Zepp attributes her success to the ones she has taught.
“It’s an honor that is shared with all of the students, the staff and the families. Without their help, I couldn’t be principal alone. I couldn’t accomplish everything without everyone,” Zepp said. “It’s always been a passion for me to work for children. There’s nothing more important than to help children learn and grow.”
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