Otisville Elementary honors Karen Krogslund for 51 years of teaching; Town of Mount Hope declares June 1 as ‘Karen Krogslund Day’

Karen KrogslundThree million, 823 thousand minutes…
That’s the calculations for fifty years…
Three million, 823 thousand minutes…
How do you measure, measure a career?

Otisville Elementary honored Karen Krogslund, one of its first-grade teachers, who will retire at the end of this school year after 51 years of teaching with a celebration involving the entire Otisville school community today, June 1, which was also declared “Karen Krogslund Day” by the Town of Mount Hope.

Mrs. Krogslund has spent her full teaching career at Minisink Valley.  It’s a rarity for a teacher to spend an entire career working in one district, and even more so for that timeframe to be 51 years.

Karen with parade participantsThe Minisink Valley High School Band led the “K-5 Parade of Students” into the gym, with Mrs. Krogslund waving and clapping as they passed by her. They carried handmade posters, banners, flags and signs, with many younger students wearing handmade “50 Year” hats, some with Mrs. Krogslund’s photo as the main decorative element.

Many students and faculty dressed in 1970s era attire, to commemorate that Mrs. Krogslund first began teaching in 1971.

students wearing hats“Mrs. Krogslund began her teaching career, right out of college, as a kindergarten teacher with the former Otisville School District, before it became part of the Minisink Valley Central School District,” Superintendent Brian Monahan told students, faculty and invited guests. “I’ve estimated that she’s been a teacher to nearly 1,000 students, many who have remained living in our community. She has taught the children and grandchildren of some of her very first students. Anyone who has been a student of hers knows how special she is.   Anyone Krogslund bannerswho has worked with her knows the same.”

Town of Mount Hope Supervisor Matthew Howell  presented Mrs. Krogslund with a proclamation declaring June 1 as “Karen Krogslund Day.”

“We would like to offer our appreciation to Karen for her constant support and promotion of youth in our community,” he said.  “She has taught many Karen with proclamationgenerations and hundreds of children who are now productive grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren in our area. Without Mrs. Krogslund, our community footprint would not be as it is today.”

Chris Krogslund, Mrs. Krogslund’s son, surprised his mother by embedding himself into the marching band and playing the snare drums, as he did when he was a district student.

Later, he presented a certificate on behalf of Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus which honored his mother’s 51-year public school teaching career.

Karen and son“The world would not be where it is without the commitment of public school teachers,” he told students, faculty, staff and invited guests.

Mr. Krogslund also offered this advice to students, which he said his mother had often told him: “If you do something you’ll love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Mrs. Krogslund’s first-grade colleague teachers Melanie Amatetti, Shelby Ingrassia, Melissa Manganello  presented her with a cutting board inscribed:

cutting boardSeasons of Love
50 years
9,000 days
63,720 hours
3,823,000 minutes
How do you measure a career?
Dedicated June 1st, 2022
Karen Krogslund Day

Assistant Principal Julia Downey introduced musical tributes to Mrs. Krogslund. First, Otisville faculty and staff sang their own special rendition of “Seasons of Love,” with lyrics rewritten to honor Mrs. Krogslund’s contribution to Otisville Elementary,

teachers singingAfter that, students honored her with a song, too, singing The New Seekers’ “Free to be Me and You,” a song popular when Mrs. Krogslund first began her teaching career.

And later, Mrs. Krogslund’s green “Superhero Cape” was officially retired, and will become part of a permanent display honoring her legacy to the Otisville school students singing community and the greater Minisink Valley school community.

Principal Vincent Biele told students, faculty, staff and guests that Mrs. Krogslund was a blessing to all who have worked in Otisville over the years.

“Otisville Elementary is the house that Karen Krogslund built,” he said. “Karen’s kindness, caring and love for students are the bricks that have formed the foundation of this school building. Karen is a master teacher who has been a mentor and resource for our entire faculty and staff. Karen’s wealth of principals and teacher with capeexperience and willingness to help people has supported many careers in this school building. She has given her heart and soul to the people in this building and has never asked for anything in return.”

While Mrs. Krogslund received applause and cheers throughout the program created to honor her, students particularly liked what Mr. Biele asked everyone to do: Stand and give her 51 uninterrupted seconds of applause for each year she’s been a teacher.

“Time goes fast,” he reminded everyone. “ Fifty-one seconds goes fast. But really, look how fast 51 years went by.”

To view the Karen Krogslund photo gallery, visit the district’s Facebook page.