Growing up, David Chepiga was fascinated by history. His father served in the Vietnam War and their home boasted many books and documentaries, which he studied. From a young age, he was inspired to figure out the world’s trajectory and was on a quest to learn why things became how they are.
Last month, Chepiga’s passion was rewarded as he was honored by the Westchester Lower Hudson Council for Social Studies as the 2018 Outstanding High School Social Studies Teacher of the Year.
“It’s pretty amazing,” he said. “It’s a shock to be recognized for something you enjoy doing every day while there are plenty of other extremely talented teachers here as well.”
Chepiga began working at Port Chester High School in 2005. While he currently teaches 9th and 10th grade, he has also taught upperclassmen in past years. He teaches AP world history, global history, economics and constitutional criminal law.
In the classroom, Chepiga offers his students a chance to relate to the past and to see how they connect with it. He noted that when a vast subject like history becomes personal, children can absorb the material more deeply.
“We look at how all of the facts intertwine and then we examine the bigger story,” he said. “It’s wonderful when the kids relate to it. They make the connection and understand what it means in relation to their lives.”
Chepiga commended the Port Chester students for their hard work throughout the year: “They love the challenge,” he said. “They’re engaged, receptive and they have fun. They’re willing to learn, work hard, and very motivated.”
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