North Street School art teacher Cheryl Iozzo has been named Greenwich's representative for the 2015 Connecticut Teacher of the Year program.
An educator for 20 years, Iozzo has been a K-5 North Street School (NSS) Art Teacher since 2008. She will be recognized by the Board of Education at the June 17, meeting at Glenville School scheduled for 7 p.m.
In a statement, School Superintendent William McKersie said, “Each of the six 2014 Distinguished Teachers demonstrate a deep commitment to ensuring all their students excel at the highest levels possible. Any one of the six teachers would be a wonderful nominee to represent the Greenwich Public Schools in the State’s program."
McKersie said he made his decision after observing the teachers in their classrooms, reviewing their written statements, and conducting interviews.
"Dr. Iozzo stood out for her 20-year record of using art to cognitively challenge her elementary students in an interdisciplinary fashion. She regularly weaves English/Language Arts, World Languages, Social Studies, Math and now digital devices into her lessons," McKersie explained. "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. 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.”
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 Iozzo’s fifth-grade students, Grace Fahey, in a note written for teacher
appreciation week, said, “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.”
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 the District’s Art Liaison for the Central and Western Network Schools.
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, she has participated in exhibitions at Teachers College, Columbia University, Greenwich Faculty Art Show as well as in galleries. 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.
At Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, Iozzo also will be honored by The Distinguished Teachers Awards Committee and the Greenwich Kiwanis Club which will present her with the Joseph Mitchell Kaye Award. 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.