Karen Sikorski, a Grade 5 teacher at Windermere Prep has been here for 8 years. Learn more about Mrs. Sikorski and her amazing dedication to our children and the Windermere Prep community.
Tell us more about your background.
I am a transplanted New Yorker, who has been teaching for over 20 years. In New York, I taught everything from bilingual education to general education, to the gifted and talented. For two years I mentored new teachers but all I wanted to do was take over their class and teach. I love teaching and children are my passion so I went back to the classroom. After we moved to Florida I stayed home with my son until he started school. I was ready to go back when he started and was lucky enough to find a new home here at Windermere Prep where I teach fifth grade.
What do you love most about your Windermere Prep?
There is so much I love about Windermere Prep but if I needed to choose I would say that the sense of community is like no other. When my husband passed away both my son and I were supported in ways that I could never have expected and I will be forever grateful. No one here is ever treated like a number. The children are the priority and everyone works together to encourage each child to use and hone their talents, wherever their talents lie, be it academic, fine arts or athletics. I love that we are a PreK-3 -Grade 12 school. I am able to see my students grow and blossom into young adults. I enjoy seeing my former students around campus.
What is your favorite part of your role as a teacher?
I love seeing the excitement and wonder in the students’ faces when they learn something new or grasp a concept that they struggled with. It is a thrill like no other. It’s a privilege to be part of their journey.
What motivates and pushes you to do your best?
My students motivate me. A college professor once told me that when you teach you should look at the children in front of you as though each one is a child in your family. That really rang true. As I look at my students I treat, teach and love them the way I hope my son’s teachers treat him. My success as a teacher is linked to their success. If my students excel so do I. If my students fail so do I.
What is your fondest memory at Windermere Prep?
A couple of years ago one of my students made a video compilation of the entire year. She captured all the special moments that our class experienced together. It was whimsical and poignant. She shared it with us on the last day of school and had the entire class laughing and crying. Looking back, I knew that we had a great year.
Who was your role model as a child?
My parents were the most hard-working, honest and kind people I have ever seen. Even now in their golden years they always show concern for others. If I can be even a little bit like them then I know I will have made an impact on this world.
If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go and why?
I would love to go to Greece. I have never been there and would love to walk through the ruins of an ancient temple. I love to sightsee but I also love to sit on a beach with crystal clear water. In Greece, I can do both.
What type of activities do you like to do during your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love to read, take walks, and love to play video games with my son.
Cats, dogs or other pets?
We have a two-year-old rescue dog named Brooklyn (an homage to our old city). She is a black lab mix that weighs over fifty pounds but thinks she is a lap dog. She loves everyone she meets and will cuddle with you all day if you let her. I go on Petfinder everyday toying with the idea of getting another one but I am already outnumbered by my son and dog.
Favorite place to eat?
A small Italian Restaurant in Brooklyn called Battista. It tastes like there are Italian Grandmothers cooking everything from scratch in the kitchen.
~ Summer Simmons, Marketing Manager