Iozzo named Teacher of the Year semifinalist

Cheryl Iozzo

Cheryl Iozzo

The honors keep piling up for North Street School K-5 art teacher Cheryl Iozzo, as she has been selected as a semifinalist in the 2015 Connecticut Teacher of the Year (CT-ToY) program.

As a semifinalist, Dr. Iozzo will meet with members of the selection committee in Hartford today, Sept. 18, for an interview and to give a brief presentation on a pre-assigned topic. After the committee selects the finalists for the next stage of the process, the commissioner is then scheduled to announce the 2015 CT Teacher of the Year on Oct. 6.

Upon hearing the news, Superintendent of Schools Dr. William S. McKersie said, “We are all pleased — but not at all surprised — that Dr. Iozzo has been named a semifinalist in the competition to be named Connecticut Teacher of the Year. Dr. Iozzo exemplifies all that is excellent in the Greenwich schools: expert in her subject matter, adept at working across disciplines, constantly looking to improve her knowledge and teaching, and ultimately focused first and foremost on her students. This is the fourth consecutive year that we have had a teacher participating in the CT-ToY selection process achieve at least the semifinalist round. We are all proud of Cheryl and wish her the very best in Hartford later this month.”

North Street School Principal Jill Flood added, “Being selected as a semifinalist in the CT-ToY program is an incredible accomplishment and the entire North Street community is thrilled and so proud of Cheryl! She is an exemplary educator and an inspiration to us all. Students leave their K-5 North Street School experience with a lifelong appreciation for the creative problem solving skills that she provides through the visual arts.”

The Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program is designed to recognize and honor the contributions of our state’s classroom teachers. The program does not attempt to select the “best” teacher, but rather identifies, from among the many outstanding teachers of the year, one teacher to serve as a visible and vocal representative of what is best in the profession. Dr. Iozzo was one of the six teachers selected and honored by the Greenwich Distinguished Teachers Awards Committee, Inc. (DTAC) in April/May, after a comprehensive nomination and review process. The Greenwich DTAC, a nonprofit organization, was established in 1984 to recognize and celebrate excellence among the dedicated teaching staff of the Greenwich Public Schools.

Dr. Iozzo is responsible for bringing the Creative Connections program to North Street School, which connects fifth 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 fifth 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, N.Y. and Teachers College at Columbia University, New York City. She is the district’s art liaison for the Central and Western Network Schools.

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