Flashback: All-County Academic Team: Grad wants to make her mark as a teacher

All-County Academic Team: Grad wants to make her mark as a teacher

Livingston Daily
by Lisa Roose-Church
June 8, 2014

Mariah Schepak is ready to make a difference in the world.

The Daily Press & Argus All-County Academic Team member plans to make her mark in the classroom as a teacher.

"Even if (the students) don't remember you, they remember what you taught them," the 18-year-old woman said. "Even if you don't realize it, you are giving them the skills they need."

Schepak, a graduate of Kensington Woods High School, did not grow up dreaming of being a teacher, however. Around age 11, she said, "I wanted to be a veterinarian" like her identical twin.

Then Schepak switched, thinking a career as a chemist or other science-related field, such as marine biology, might be her calling.

Her mind settled on teaching after Schepak volunteered in a Three Fires Elementary School classroom during her sophomore year. She loved working with the students, helping them learn to read or solve math problems.

Schepak, whose grade-point average is 4.193, says teacher Elizabeth McGuffin most influenced her because McGuffin "pushed me to always try my best."

"She always had improvements I could work on and made me want to write better," said Schepak, who received a full-ride scholarship to attend Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant in the fall to study education.

"She inspired me to write things that were insightful; to write from experiences and to take what I learn and apply it to my writing," Schepak added about McGuffin. "She was nice and caring and always around to talk to if you needed it. She shared her life experiences with us, which helped to show me what I wanted to do. She was one of the main (people) who inspired me to teach."

During her high school years, Schepak participated in Leadership Club, National Honor Society and Kensington Woods High School Student Council. She also volunteered as a peer tutor and received recognition for excellence in both math and social studies.

Schepak also plays the piano and works at an Arby's restaurant.

Schepak lives in Genoa Township with her parents, Suzanne and Tony Schepak, and her twin sister, Brittany Schepak.

Contact Daily Press & Argus reporter Lisa Roose-Church at 517-552-2846 or at lrchurch@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRooseChurch.

All-County Academic Team

This is the time of year when the Daily Press & Argus celebrates the achievements of graduating high school seniors by naming an All-County Academic Team from among the top students at Livingston County's high schools.

New this year, the paper has invited nominations from the county's charter and private high schools, including the Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy, Kensington Woods High School, Livingston Christian High School and FlexTech High School.

The result is an unprecedented 18-member All-County Academic Team.

Students will be named to the team in the Daily Press & Argus each day over the next two weeks.