SCHERTZ — Amy Sirizzotti’s heart has been in education since sixth grade when she got the chance to tutor younger students with English lessons.
“For the longest time, I wanted to be a police officer or a veterinarian, something like that,” she said. “But, I really liked teaching others.”
Sirizzotti’s adventure in education continues. She became principal of Clemens High School July 1.
She succeeds Melissa Sosa, who retired after 28 years in the instructional field.
Sirizzotti started her teaching career in 2001 at North East Independent School District’s Tejeda Middle School.
There, she chaired the campus’ English department, taught gifted and talented English, served as University Interscholastic League academic adviser in three subjects, and helped coach girls’ athletics.
Sirizzotti was named assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at MacArthur High School in 2011, later serving as the NEISD gifted and talented coordinator before arriving in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District in August 2016.
It was then Sirizzotti was hired as assistant principal at Clemens, and named associate principal two years later.
The San Antonio native enjoys the Schertz-Cibolo area. Despite the region’s growth, it still retains a small-town atmosphere, she said.
“It’s great being part of a community like this, being part of something bigger than yourself,” she added. “I feel at home here. People automatically accept you.”
Sirizzotti takes the reins at an uncertain time in education. As of press time, Gov. Greg Abbott announced public schools would reopen for classes in the fall for the first time since mid-March.
Texas has seen a surge in positive COVID-19 cases.
While school districts won’t require pupils to be tested for the virus or wear masks on campus, concerned families will be given the flexibility to allow learners to be educated remotely or receive in-person instruction.
Sirizzotti said her goal for 2020-2021 is to ensure students get “an authentic learning experience,” with faculty and staff fully equipped and adaptable.
“I always tell my kids finishing high school that this will be the most important part — the world beyond,” Sirizzotti said. “This is what they’re preparing for.”
“It’s a very unusual time. Everyone should be able to have a semblance of resilience,” she added.
Superintendent Clark Ealy complimented Sirizzotti for having “a passion for kids.”
“She appreciates the tradition of excellence that has been established at Clemens over the years, and understands how important it is to build upon it as education continues to grow and evolve in the 21st century,” Ealy said in a news release.
The recently retired Sosa came to SCUCISD in 1999 as a teacher and coach at Dobie Junior High School.
In 2004, she rose to the administrative ranks, working as an assistant principal at Clemens before serving on the administration team at Steele High School, which had just opened.
Sosa was as an assistant principal at Steele until 2011 when she was named principal of Clemens.
“I can wholeheartedly say that for me it was always about relationships and striving to make a positive impact,” Sosa said. “My daily interactions with students, staff and colleagues fed my soul. This is what I will miss the most.”
As of now, Sosa hasn’t formulated any short-term plans.
“This is exhilarating, yet also causes me a bit of anxiety,” she said. “One thing is for certain, though: I am greatly looking forward to days of unscheduled time, where I can spontaneously go for a hike, kayak, read or meet a friend for coffee.”
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