Educator of the Week: Tommy Cepparulo

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — It’s time for this week’s Educator of the Week, brought to you by the Tennessee Education Lottery. 

Eow Cepparulo

One former police officer took his talents to the classroom.

Tommy Cepparulo previously worked with the Jackson Police Department. He remained with the department before having to quit due to an injury.

Afterwards, he accepted a teaching position at Lexington High School. He has been there for 12 years, teaching students the importance of the law system. 

“Criminal justice is something that kids will carry with them their entire life because we have to obey the law, we have to know our rights as individuals,” Cepparulo said.

He says all subjects are important in a child’s development and learning. However, he thinks the real lesson is teaching students how to be great in the real world.

He says understanding your rights and the legal system can help this. 

“It’s not just about arithmetic, English or criminal justice. It’s about teaching them how to prosper in society and be great young individuals,” Cepparulo said.

Cepparulo says teaching isn’t easy, especially during a pandemic. He thinks the hardest part is finding common ground with his students.

“The hardest part about teaching is reaching some of these people, engaging and getting their trust with you, so students understand, ‘Hey this is a safe haven. I can get away from whatever is going on outside the world here,'” Cepparulo said.

He does his best to help his students when possible. He says his background helps with conflict resolution within the classroom. One way he does this is by providing snacks in the classroom.

“I want them, when they get here, to just be able to leave whatever happened at home right outside and know that they’re safe whenever they walk into my room,” Cepparulo said.

Cepparulo is now eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award. 

To vote for him or any other nominees, go to the Tennessee Education Lottery website

To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, email us at

Categories: Educator of the Week