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South Fork High School teacher surprised with $100,000

Posted at 10:26 AM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 19:23:03-04

STUART, Fla. — A Martin County teacher received an incredibly special surprise on Thursday morning: $100,000!

Wendy Schepman is a landscape operations teacher at South Fork High School in Stuart.

On Thursday, she and the school were awarded $100,000 for taking first place in 2019 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.

"It’s overwhelming, I was crying, I didn’t really know what was happening," said Schepman.

The national award recognizes outstanding teachers in skilled trades in U.S. public high schools.

"Absolutely deserves it," said Kailey Russell, a senior at the schoo. "She’s gone above and beyond for all of us."

South Fork High School will receive $70,000 to support the school's skilled trades program, and Schepman will receive $30,000.

Schepman said the money will be used to buy new tools and welding equipment, and to offset the cost of a new irrigation system for the school's golf course.

"If you can get a student to graduate with even basic skills on a mower, that’s a foot in the door of a career that you may or may not need a degree to advance in," said Schepman.

Even more impressive -- Schepman is the only teacher in Florida to win the award this year. Congrats!