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Izzo named principal at St. Mary’s-Moscow

The following story appeared in the April 8 Idaho Catholic Register.

By Gene Fadness

Editor


MOSCOW – Sandra Izzo, a teacher for the last six years at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Moscow, will become the principal at the school August 1 of this year. Father Joe McDonald, pastor of the parish and superintendent of the school, made the announcement last week.


“I have witnessed the respect Mrs. Izzo has from the other teachers for both her professionalism and abilities,” Father McDonald said. “She is a problem-solver, effective listener and a good communicator. Our school is blessed that she has said ‘yes’ to this new calling in her life.”


Izzo is a native of Moscow and a graduate of Moscow High School. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving for nearly 10 years as an electronics technician. She was on board the USS Abraham Lincoln on Dec. 26, 2004, when the third-largest earthquake in recorded history caused the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Izzo went ashore to provide humanitarian aid on an island that is part of Indonesia, which suffered 168,000 of the total 230,000 deaths with another half million residents displaced.


After her enlistment, she returned to her hometown to attend the University of Idaho and then worked at the Coeur d’Alene Tribal School as the math instructional coach for three years and a classroom teacher for two years.


She then started at St. Mary’s Catholic School, a Presbyterian teaching First Grade students in a Catholic school.


During her second year of teaching, she said she would “slip into the Second Grade” during her classroom prep time to learn about the Sacraments of Initiation from her former students as they were preparing for First Holy Communion. She liked the idea that her former First Grade students were teaching her what they were learning about Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Her students must have been good teachers. She became Catholic.


In addition to teaching, Izzo has also been the technology coordinator for the school and implemented a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Program for all grades. Social-emotional learning is a process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal

skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. People with strong social-emotional

skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially.


“In this new role as principal, I am most looking forward to the interactions I get to have with all the students in the school,” Izzo said. “I got to know each of them this year teaching the (SEL) class weekly for all grades, and I’m so excited to continue to be a part of their learning, their faith journey and their lives in a much bigger way.”


Izzo and her husband, Jess, have three children, ages 19, 15, and 8. The youngest, Jase, is in the Third Grade at St. Mary’s. The family owns Omega Electric. Jess is an electrical contractor.


St. Mary’s Catholic School in Moscow is a Pre-K through Grade 8 school and has an enrollment of 111 students.


For the last year and half, the school has been led by Interim Principal Sister Margaret Johnson, OSU, who assumed responsibilities after the departure of Dr. Jennifer Beller.


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