Tetzner comes home to lead St. Cecilia School

Tetzner comes home to lead St. Cecilia School

PAWTUCKET - Mary Tetzner, a veteran educator with years of experience in the public school system, has come home to her native Pawtucket to become the principal of St. Cecilia School.

Tetzner grew up here and lived right off Walcott Street for 44 years before moving with her husband to Greenville. She went to church at St. Teresa Parish, attended school at Potter-Burns Elementary, Goff Junior High and Tolman High School, and later served 10 years on the city's water board. Even Tetzner's parents grew up in Pawtucket, a city she always "considered home."

"I know what a great school St. Cecilia is," she said. "I really felt like I was home. It's a great school with great parents, teachers, a perfect fit for me."

Tetzner and her husband, Edward, are parishioners of St. Philip Church in Greenville and have two children, Thomas and Elizabeth.

Last week the Rev. Michael Sisco, pastor of Blessed Pope John Paul II Parish, announced the appointment of Tetzner, an educator with nearly 30 years of classroom and administrative experience, as the newest principal of St. Cecilia School.

"I feel a Catholic education takes an important role favoring the physical, intellectual, and moral development of the person," said Tetzner in a news release. "A Catholic school should play an integral role in evangelizing the mission of the church. The school should foster in students a sense of engagement and a love of learning."

Tetzner holds a bachelor of science degree in home economics from the University of Rhode Island and a master of arts degree in secondary administration from Providence College. She has experience in curriculum development, strategic school planning, common core standards, teaching mentoring, and many other school initiatives.

Since 1982, she has served in the Foster-Glocester Regional School District in several capacities, including family and consumer science department head, curriculum coordinator, and teacher. Tetzner served on several committees including the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Student Advisory, Strategic Planning and Community Service. She is a member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Science and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Among her strengths, Tetzner said she is "good with people, great with parents," and has a strong background in curriculum development, evaluations and budgeting. Watching the St. Cecilia's finances will be one of her biggest challenges, she said.

Tetzner said she has "always been very strong in my faith," and understands the importance not only intellectual and moral development but spiritual development in students.

The new principal said she has many ideas for St. Cecilia, including an expansion of its music program as part of a partnership with St. Raphael Academy and coordinating with representatives from the city to bring artists to the school.

Tetzner, who began her teaching career early and is not close to retirement, said she was "ready for a change" from the public schools to a private one. She didn't want to "completely retire" and felt like St. Cecilia represented a "good fit." She has always enjoyed administration and has a strong commitment to family and community.

Part of the reason the Tetzners moved to Greenville was to be closer to the Foster-Glocester Regional School District, said Tetzner. She recalls one day living in Pawtucket when it took her nearly three hours to get home from work. That said, she and her family haven't decided yet whether they'll move back to Pawtucket to be closer to her new school.