McKersie Picks Schools Nominee for CT Teacher of the Year

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NSS Art Teacher Cheryl Iozzo at the Distinguished Teacher ceremony at Central Middle School last month. Iozzo is second to left with colleagues from North Street School. She was accompanied by her sons. Credit: Leslie Yager

Superintendent of Schools Dr. William S. McKersie has announced the selection of Cheryl Iozzo, Ed.D as the Greenwich Public Schools representative for the 2015 Connecticut Teacher of the Year program.

An educator for 20 years, Dr. Iozzo has been a K-5 North Street School (NSS) Art Teacher since 2008. Dr. Iozzo will be recognized by the Board of Education at the June 17, 2014 meeting at Glenville School, 7:00PM.

“Any one of the six teachers would be a wonderful nominee to represent the Greenwich Public Schools in the State’s program,” Dr. McKersie said. “After observing the teachers in their classrooms, reviewing their written statements, and conducting a summative interview, I selected NSS Art Teacher Cheryl Iozzo to represent Greenwich.”

“Dr. Iozzo stood out for her 20-year record of using art to cognitively challenge her elementary students in an interdisciplinary fashion,” McKersie continued. “She regularly weaves English/Language Arts, World Languages, Social Studies, Math and now digital devices into her lessons. If art is the window into our minds, hearts, souls and histories, in Cheryl’s deft hands art also is the path to powerful student engagement and learning. Cheryl Iozzo will be a superb representative for Greenwich in the 2015 CT Teacher of the Year program.”

North Street School Principal Jill Flood said, “Cheryl Iozzo is an exemplary educator who inspires her students to create beautiful, meaningful works of art. She believes art is a way to channel creativity and emotion. Her students are encouraged to draw from their core beliefs and feelings in order to express themselves in original ways. Walking into Cheryl’s art room is always an incredible experience; children are enthusiastic, engaged and focused on their work. They exhibit the “organized chaos” that she works
so hard to maintain,” Flood said.

“Cheryl is a consummate professional who strives to stay current with best practices and innovations in her field. I am thrilled for Cheryl and know that she will do a fabulous job representing the Greenwich Public Schools at the state level,” Flood added.

Dr. Iozzo will also be honored by The Distinguished Teachers Awards Committee and by the Greenwich Kiwanis Club at the Board of Education meeting on June 17th.

The Kiwanis Club will present Dr. Iozzo with the Joseph Mitchell Kaye Award. Mr. Kaye was a past President of the Greenwich Kiwanis Club, a Lieutenant Governor of the Kiwanis Club for the New England District, and served on the Greenwich Board of Education.

Dr. Iozzo is one of the six teachers selected and honored by the Distinguished Teachers Awards Committee this year in April. The Superintendent of Schools is charged with selecting from among the six Distinguished Teachers annually, the one teacher that will represent Greenwich in the State’s program.

Throughout the months of May and June, Dr. McKersie reviewed the nomination packets submitted for each of the Distinguished Teachers, spent time in each of their classrooms, debriefed the observations with each teacher and with their principal, and reviewed essays submitted as part of the selection process.

Cheryl Iozzo Distinguished Teachers Awards Nominator Carolyn Reifers revealed that Cheryl “is always looking for a better way to teach an art concept: she searches the internet on a regular basis, and communicates with art colleagues and classroom teachers to create lesson plans that incorporate the latest and most effective learning
strategies.” As a result, she is “known to be a true inspiration and role model for
both teachers and students during her 20 years of teaching in Greenwich.”
Dr. Iozzo is responsible for bringing the Creative Connections program to North
Street School, which connects 5th graders to a classroom in a remote area of
Guatemala. The children learn about a different culture through art, pen pal writing and the opportunity for class–to-class conversations via Skype. One of Dr. Iozzo’s 5th grade students, Grace Fahey, summed her up best in a note written for teacher appreciation week; “Dr. Iozzo never has a boring art activity. They are always fun and interesting. She is fair and open-minded. She never lets anyone down if they are looking for good ideas or have questions.”

Dr. Iozzo began teaching in 1994, and has taught art from a transdisciplinary approach with students in elementary and middle school since that time. She has been with the Greenwich Public Schools for most of her career as an educator, teaching at Central Middle School and North Street School among others.

She is a CT BEST/TEAM Mentor for new teachers, and has been a Cooperating Teacher at the College of New Rochelle, NY and Teachers College at Columbia University, NYC. She is currently the District’s Art Liaison for the Central and Western Network Schools.
Dr. Iozzo received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts followed by a Master of Arts in Teaching (Visual Arts) from the Rode School of Design. She went on to earn a Doctorate and Masters in Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to facilitating many student art exhibitions with Greenwich Public Schools, Art on the Avenue and Cos Cob Library, Dr. Iozzo herself has participated in exhibitions at Teachers College, Columbia University, Greenwich Faculty Art Show as well as in galleries. Dr. Iozzo has also taught at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York City as well as at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich.

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