It’s déjà vu all over again for Horizon Honors teacher

Joy Pizorno

If Joy Pizorno ever quotes Yogi Berra’s famous saying about “feeling like it’s déjà vu all over again,” it’s pretty understandable.

She’s living it as a teacher at her alma mater. Six years after she graduated from Horizon Honors Schools, the Ahwatukee resident is back – only this time at the head of the class instead of behind a desk.

“It is definitely a little strange being back in my childhood home and going to work where I went to school for 13 years,” said Pizorno, the eldest of three children of Robert and Natasha Pizorno who started her new gig this school year as she earns some money to attend law school.

Nor is Pizorno, 24, who is teaching high school Spanish, the only family member who is starting to work at Horizon Honors.

Her mother started teaching kindergarten there this year as well.

With next year marking “20 consecutive years of my family being involved at Horizon” Pizorno and her mom are carrying on a legacy that also includes her two younger sisters, who also attended grade and high school at Horizon Honors. Joy graduated in 2016, Bianca in 2018 and Isabella earned her diploma this year. Both Bianca and Isabella are attending Brigham Young University, majoring in linguistics and computer science, respectively. Joy graduated from BYU after a double major in family studies and Spanish.

Joy said she found her first week at Horizon Honors somewhat challenging “especially with a group of students who have had an unconventional last few years.”

“But I have a good bunch and I’m excited to work with them,” she added. “The oddest part was having to call old teachers by their first names.”

The students seem to have had a bit of an adjustment to her alumni status as well.

I told them the first week that I graduated from here and let them guess what year,” she said. “Some of the upperclassmen knew my little sister who just graduated so it has been funny to hear people ask me if I am ‘Isabella’s sister.’

“Since I am the oldest child, it has always been the other way around. I occasionally share anecdotes with them like the fact that the principal was my math teacher back in the day and they get a kick out of it.”

Pizorno also took two years off from school to do a volunteer mission trip to Austin, Texas, where she worked with the Spanish-speaking population.

She competed her undergraduate studies this year and recently came back from Madrid, Spain, where she was an intern with the Fulbright Commission.

Since she had some teaching experience during her college years, she is not unfamiliar with the work ahead of her at Horizon Honors.

“I was originally going to attend law school in the fall and had been accepted to schools,” she explained. “When I saw that a position to teach Spanish was open at Horizon and since I loved my experience teaching at BYU, I decided to apply and subsequently got the job.

“I am excited to be back as a part of the Horizon community and to share my love of Spanish with my students.”

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