Sheptyck brings love of history and student-centered learning


One of Jefferson’s new history teachers, Elizabeth Sheptyck looks forward to helping students explore their interests.

Ellen Kan

The new school year is always filled with unfamiliar faces, and it is not uncommon for new teachers to join Jefferson’s ranks. This year, Jefferson welcomed Elizabeth Sheptyck, a new World History and Geography II and Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History teacher.

Sheptyck comes from Massachusetts, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Before coming to Jefferson, Sheptyck taught history courses at Hopkinton High School, a school just west of Boston. She has also worked as a teaching assistant for a special education school in Brookline, Mass, which first sparked her interest in teaching.

“I’ve always loved history,” Sheptyck said. “The story part has always appealed to me, as well as learning about the past. Tracing back to our roots is relevant to understanding the world around us.”

New teachers always hope to bring unique methods of teaching appeal to their students’ interests, and Sheptyck is no exception. She looks forward to letting her students delve into the deeper aspects of history and form connections through activities such as classroom discussions and interactive sessions.

“My teaching style usually focuses on a student-centered class,” Sheptyck said. “The AP test sometimes competes with that, but I want the students to be able to explore different topics and find a balance.”

While Sheptyck may be teaching at Jefferson for the first time, she is not new to the Washington, D.C. area. She lived in D.C. from 2007 to 2012 while her husband taught in Fairfax. At the moment, Sheptyck is also pursuing a graduate degree in history at American University.

For the time being, Sheptyck hopes to familiarize herself with Jefferson through getting to know the people around her.

“I hope to learn a lot, and I’m looking forward to working with some really exciting people and a talented group of teachers,” Sheptyck said.