Alumnus, former teacher honored at Stanford University

Zach Teplin and Angelina Cicero stand with their awards in the Engineering Department at
Stanford University on April 29, 2023.

Photo submitted by Angie Cicero

Zach Teplin and Angelina Cicero stand with their awards in the Engineering Department at Stanford University on April 29, 2023.

Saying goodbye to high school teachers can be sad but imagine getting to show your beloved teacher your college campus. A Homestead alumnus is getting recognized as one of Stanford’s top 30 graduate engineering students to do just that.
Zach Teplin, Class of ‘19, graduate and Mequon native is being given the distinct honor called the Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Scholastic Award. This award recognizes the top students of each year’s undergraduate engineering class. It is named after Fred Terman, the fourth dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford (1944-1958), and he was the Senior Academic Administrator at the university that has led Stanford to be the well known institution it is today.
These award recipients get to choose an influential teacher in their life who inspired them in their secondary school education. Stanford pays the cost for that teacher to attend a ceremony that honors both the student and teacher.
“It was a hard decision, I had so many great educators in my time at Homestead and in Mequon in general but for me it was almost like a gut instinct that Angie [Mrs. Cicero] was one of the first names I thought of. I think it really just comes down to how much time I spent in her classroom and how much learning that happened in her room beyond just being in AP Literature,” Teplin said.
Zach ultimately chose Cicero, also known as Angie. Cicero is widely known throughout the school; she has been teaching English for 22 years at Homestead and teaching for 28 years overall.
Cicero and Teplin did not meet until Teplin’s senior year of high school in AP Literature and Composition.
Cicero said, “He was also in a summer book club that I ran. The book we read that summer, before his freshman year of college, was required to read as sort of a pre coming to Stanford reading and then a whole bunch of us all read it and that was one of our book club books.”
Cicero looks forward to her trip and says, “I think that because Zach was so influential on the culture of Homestead, that it will be enjoyable to go and see how he has carried that torch of
inspiration and enthusiasm into his college campus. I look forward to possibly meeting some of his professors and just seeing where he has been learning and researching.”
Teplin studied biomechanical engineering and has already landed himself a job after graduation in January of 2024.
“For me, the classes have been super interesting which have led me to mainly major in it. I came in not really knowing what I wanted to do. I applied to material science engineering and then pretty quickly realized, I didn’t like a lot of the career paths that take you down and it was not my cup of tea. It was between mechanical engineering and biomechanical engineering, but then for a while during freshman and sophomore year I thought I wanted to do Pre Med,” Teplin said.
Although college can be a new adventure, it also comes with adjusting from high school.
“This weird 4 to 5 years where you are kinda dictating your own schedule and learning how to find the balance of what I want to do while still seeing as much as I can has probably been the biggest challenge for me,” Teplin said.
Kelly Denk, Teplin’s Honors English 9 and varsity soccer coach, said, “Obviously, I am proud of him for graduating with honors and for being so successful in a way that is quantified with grades. What I most appreciate about Zach is that he is confident in the way he is and he is very true to himself.”
Denk also reflected on her time with Teplin as a student in her class, “He will literally send me videos and stuff about “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, which is something that we read together like eight years ago which I think really shows that he really takes his learning to heart. He’s not just sitting in a class doing something for a grade, like he is really engaging to the point that he remembers what we talked about in class eight years later.”
In the end, Teplin is a student who has impacted our school for the better and has made his teachers proud of his accomplishments in high school and at his time at Stanford.

Teplin stands on campus at Stanford.