Karen Komara, a 1994 Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) alumna, was named the Lucy F. Simms Educator of the Year in June 2012. Seven other alumni were recognized at an end-of year appreciation dinner by Rockingham County Public Schools.
In an interview with Bob Corso of WHSV-TV3, Komara, a fifth-grade teacher at Pleasant Valley Elementary, said she was honored to be chosen for the award. “Some of the criteria [to be chosen for the award] consists of going above and beyond in the classroom, inspiring children to learn, and of course working well with your colleagues,” said Komara.
Komara said her approach to teaching is “if you can bond with children, you can do pretty much anything … it’s more getting to know children, their families – its more than just teaching.”
In her 18-year career, Komara has received 21 Innovative Idea Grants from the Rockingham Educational Foundation, totaling about $25,000. She’s also been named Citizen Teacher of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and has earned recognition from the Virginia Council on Economic Education for her lessons on money management.
Seven others recognized
In addition to Komara, the following alumni were recognized as Teachers of the Year by the county:
Jodi Beller ’07, Cub Run Elementary School
Emily Hahn ’03, Fulks Run Elementary School
Sylvia Helmuth ’79, Peak View Elementary School
Cindy Moyers ’03, John Wayland Elementary School
Kimberly Golden-Myers ’91, Ottobine Elementary School
Lisa Roeschley ’01, Mountain View Elementary School
Eric Trinka ’07, Montevideo Middle School