Featured Alumna: Laurie Zepezauer

Laurie Zepezauer began her teaching career as a part-time preschool teacher at a local church. With a few years’ experience, she decided she wanted to learn why and how children learn so Laurie returned to school and earned her master’s in education in birth through kindergarten education from ECU in 2019.

Since graduating, Laurie has served as a mentor and evaluator in ECU’s early educator support office. In this role, she and her colleagues work to meet the needs of teachers they serve and implement strategy for using evidence-based best teaching practices to achieve positive outcomes for students and teachers. She also evaluates and provides coaching for pre-k teachers and provides professional development training as needed. Laurie says she strives to inspire other teachers of young children to develop a love of learning within themselves and the children they serve. 

Laurie’s favorite part of teaching is observing children engaging with their peers and their environment, knowing that they are connecting new experiences to prior ones and growing their minds. Laurie notes her educational training comes to life in the classroom as she supports children through the learning process. As an adult, she says, “I have yet to stop learning and I am constantly acquiring and applying new information as I navigate my career.” For Laurie, her own urge to constantly learn and engage clearly solidifies the importance of developing a love of learning within young children so they also will become lifelong learners.   

Laurie tells us, “My time at ECU has been inspiring to say the least. Every professor, supervisor and mentor has impacted my educational journey along the way. Their love of children directly impacted my passion for children and gave me confidence as an educator.”  

Laurie’s advice for future and possible non-traditional students? “If you are thinking of earning your degree as an adult, I highly encourage you to do it! The Distance Education program is a perfect solution for people who work and/or have a family or just want the flexibility to complete assignments that will work around your schedule. Even if you take one class at a time, you will be one class closer to your degree.”