2021 GYOT
North High senior named Grow Your Own Teacher
Posted on 01/25/2021
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Fort Zumwalt North High senior Sara Epps recently learned she has been selected as the 2020-2021 Grow Your Own Teacher. Epps, who hopes to become a high school math teacher, will now become a part of the foundation’s Grow Your Own Teacher program, which provides mentorship and financial support to selected Fort Zumwalt seniors interested in becoming teachers in high needs areas.

Epps has taken advantage of Fort Zumwalt School District’s Career Pathway programming, meant to help students explore the potential and the demands of specific careers. Having taken classes in the Pathways to Teaching, Epps soon found herself involved with, and eventually leading, the North High chapter of Educators Rising. She has also served as a section leader in the Panther Pride Marching Band, a Positive Peer Influence mentor and is a member of the National Honor Society. Beyond her school community, Epps has served younger students at her church in vacation Bible school and Sunday school classrooms. She joins 10 Grow Your Own Teachers in college across the state.

The Fort Zumwalt Education Foundation, a 501C-3, supports educational efforts in the Fort Zumwalt School District not provided for by traditional school funding. The Foundation’s primary work for more than 15 years is the Grow Your Own Teacher program. Each year Fort Zumwalt seniors interested in teaching careers can apply for $32,000 in forgivable loans to be used at an affiliated Missouri university. For full forgiveness of the loans, students must be willing to return to Fort Zumwalt after graduation to teach in one of the following areas: special education; secondary math, secondary science, speech pathology, or industrial technology. Since 2005, more than a dozen Fort Zumwalt graduates have returned to teach in Fort Zumwalt classrooms, including the district’s 2019 Educator of the Year, Kelsie Ballmann.

Learn more about the FZ Education Foundation