JodiAnn Z. Dzierzanowski believes in helping others and encouraging those to do the same

JodiAnn Dzierzanowski has built for herself a fascinating resume with a varied career field and extensive courses of study. First attending Buffalo State University where she earned 82 semester hours in French and anthropology, JodiAnn Z. Dzierzanowski is currently Principal/Truancy Prevention Coordinator with the DISD and overseer of DAEP and the Devine Learning Academy, with the responsibility of recovery of potential and current drop-out students. In her spare time, and in keeping with her philosophy of helping others – including animals – JodiAnn has gone through training and inspections to be able to volunteer as a permitted Texas Parks and Wildlife Rehabilitator. She takes in orphaned and injured wildlife, helps them recover, and releases them back to the wild.
Prior to her present position with DISD, JodiAnn experienced a colorful career. She graduated from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Center in April of 1990. From there, she joined the United States Army Intelligence School, completing her Military Intelligence diploma in November of 1990, to become a Platoon Leader and Electronic Warfare Analyst.
In May of 1992, JodiAnn completed her Associate of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, European Division, with an emphasis in biology. Pursuing her career in the field of science, she then attended Texas A&M University, completing her Bachelor of Arts in December of 1995 with a major in biology and minor in chemistry. She then received her teachers’ certification from the University of Texas at San Antonio in May of 2001, followed by earning her Master’s of Science in Microbiology in August of 2002, again from UTSA.
Meanwhile, JodiAnn served in the United States Army as an electronic warfare voice interceptor and signals analyst from February of ‘89 to June of ‘92. Next, she worked in the entomology research and systematics laboratory, Jan of ‘95 to Dec of ‘95.
An interesting next move took JodiAnn to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Southwest as a microbiologist/ lab technician – from February of ‘96 to April. Continuing in the field of beverages, JodiAnn then moved to the Pearl/Pabst Brewing Company as a microbiologist – May of ‘97 to July of ‘99.
Pursuing that teacher’s certificate, JodiAnn decided to enter the field of education, working for some years in Natalia High School, Southwest High School, and Palo Alto College, all serving in the areas of science. Her next stop was at Pearsall JH/High school as Academic Dean/Assistant Principal – October, 2008 to June, 2014. And that brings JodiAnn to her current position in DISD, the best of all, no doubt, stating, “It’s been wonderful in Devine.”
However, amidst all of the above-mentioned experiences, JodiAnn had a fascinating career serving in the U.S. Army. She explains that she graduated from her interceptor school just prior to Desert Storm. The U.S. entered the war about six months after she arrived in Germany. “I remember being asleep in the middle of the night in the barracks, and our platoon leader came around, banging on everybody’s door, yelling, ‘We’re at war! Get up and get dressed!’ “
JodiAnn goes on to say, “It was really surreal. After we lined up, we got briefed on the situation. They divided us into squads, at least six…. We worked at an intelligence post that was a high-value target due to the intelligence we gathered there. The post was located about eight miles from where our barracks were. The squads took turns, three days out; three days back; three days at work. Two squads went out at a time to patrol the post, so as one was back at home camp, the other was out on duty.
“The perimeter was never left unguarded. When we were out, we camped out in old WWII buildings located on the intelligence base. The buildings had not been used since WWII since many of them had bomb damage with blown-out walls and caved-in roofs. It was like time was frozen in 1942 there.
“It was in the middle of winter when we entered the war, so it was cold and snowy. The base camps weren’t very warm, though we had a building that had its walls and roof. We never had anyone physically try to enter the post, and the war was short-lived, so everything worked out.”
Commenting on the privileges of living in America JodiAnn has observed by her experiences serving overseas, she shares: “Living in other countries and serving in the Army really drives home what an amazing country we live in. I will always be thankful for the United States and the privileges it awards us by just living here, and the empowerment to change a situation if something is not right. Many people in other countries do not have that.”
To elaborate on those freedoms, JodiAnn gives this example: “One day when I was at work, we were discussing people getting deployed. The sergeants were telling us that the female soldiers deployed to Iraq were being restricted to stay on base because women in Iraq did not have any rights; they weren’t even considered equals to men or even to their own male children.
“There were American female soldiers who wore makeup, showed their faces, and wore pants, all of which women were not allowed at that time in Iraq. [In addition], Iraq didn’t want their women getting any ideas. To make matters even worse, American female soldiers were treated as equals in the U.S. Army, and when they left base, they were armed, giving them power among the Iraqi men. This was unspeakable in the eyes of Iraq in those days.
“One particular incident sparked off the conflict of women in Iraq. A female MP was driving in town in the MP jeep. Women were not allowed to drive vehicles either in Iraq. Holy men, also known as the ‘Islamic Religious Police’ or ‘morality police’, walked around with large sticks to enforce the religious laws at the time. A Holy man witnessed this soldier getting out of her jeep. He walked up to her and her jeep and started pounding on the jeep’s hood with his large stick! In response, the lady MP pulled out her pistol, locked and loaded, and made him back off!
“All sorts of Iraqis witnessed this whole interaction, including women and children. The Iraqi government became enraged and started talks with the U.S. to prevent situations like this in the future. …Keeping women on base was discussed as one of the solutions.”
In reflection of her life of many facets, JodiAnn says this: “I feel I’ve had a good life and have been blessed. I’ve learned a lot of things, including to be patient, grateful, and strong. I’m at a point in my life to pass it forward, so that is what I try to do. It takes nothing away from an individual to be kind to others or to animals. When I am able to help someone out and they ask me how they can repay me, all I ask for is that they do the same when the time arises.”