St. Anastasia Catholic School students may see a lot more of their former first-grade teacher this coming school year.
Betty Jodzio has accepted the school’s principal position after four years with the district, and is eager to take her passion for teaching to a new level.
“I think I have an opportunity to help teachers,” she said. “With my master’s in educational leadership, I really want to move forward helping teachers grow in what they have to offer students. It’s still teaching, but at a different level.”
Jodzio has been a teacher for 12 years, including time at the public school district as a substitute teacher and at New Discovery Montessori Academy. Her master’s degree is from St. Mary’s University in Winona, and her teaching certification is through Crown College in St. Bonifacius.
As a teacher, Jodzio’s focus was to make sure students know they are an individual.
“You want to make sure they are recognized,” she said. “You want to spend time with each child and make sure their needs are met so they are in a position to learn. It’s building a community in the classroom where the children are working with each other, and growing as a class with each other while maintaining their individuality.”
Because of her focus, she enjoyed her morning meetings each day with students, which she used to build relationships and allow students to share what was on their mind.
As principal, she wants to make sure all students have the chance to grow in their faith and knowledge.
“Each of us has individual learning styles,” Jodzio said. “We’re all at different levels, but as I come in I would really hope we are moving toward reaching each of those individuals. ... If a child is struggling, we are able to provide a platform to help them learn. If a child is at (grade) level, we are able to provide them the opportunity to grow. And students who need more challenge, provide them an opportunity to excel at their learning. Everyone should excel.”
Jodzio’s new role isn’t the only change at St. Anastasia in the coming school year.
“We have been accredited by the Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association,” Jodzio said. “This year we will move toward working on our strategic plan. A big point of it is recruitment, increasing enrollment, teaching academic needs of each student.”
The school will use more digital technology to help advance individual learning, and try blending classroom grade levels.
“We are working on those things,” Jodzio said. “It’s new to St. Anastasia. As we start to meet with the teachers, we will figure out where we can utilize our teachers’ skills in the best areas, and how to position the students. ... I think it is something that will help us be more competitive in school choice.”