Karen Katzman

Distinguished Service Award
Karen Katzman

Karen feels that it is a gift to have worked with Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman since 1984 – even before the birth of SLCD. From that moment, she knew that helping children with special needs was her calling.

Karen started as a classroom speech language pathologist in a program that Dr. Tiegerman created called the Preschool Language Stimulation Program at Adelphi University. The following year SLCD was born. It began in a school located in New Hyde Park. As people became aware of Dr. Tiegerman’s innovative approach, the school grew in popularity. SLCD moved to North Bellmore and new grades were added. Then the school moved to North Merrick and finally to its current home in Glen Cove. Karen’s husband, Marvin, always says that Karen moved more with Dr. Tiegerman than she did with him.

During this time, Karen’s roles and responsibilities grew. She became an individual speech language pathologist in the school setting followed by numerous years in the Evaluation and Treatment Center. Karen was then offered an administrative position as Supervisor of Therapeutic Services, working alongside her dear friend Mrs. Maureen Shapiro, Educational Supervisor. For the past 12 years, Karen has served as Principal of the pre-school and elementary school.

Karen strives to bring as much joy as possible to the children while preparing them for a life where they reach their full potential. She greets them each morning with a smile; her kindness, patience, love, and humor add a special warmth to the school that is felt throughout the entire building.

While it may be difficult to bring the children to the world, Karen brings the world to the children. She is a strong advocate for the arts. She has instituted Disney Day, Spirit Week, World Day, Poem in a Pocket, and the Apollo theatre program that enrich the lives of the children and bring them great delight and happiness. Each year she incorporates a theme into the children’s education with this year being the Year of Museums.

Throughout her journey, Karen has met lifelong friends and colleagues. Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman is a woman that she respects, admires, and considers family. Dr. Tiegerman’s vision and passion, along with Dr. Christine Radziewicz’s, have afforded thousands of children the opportunity to lead joyous and productive lives. Karen is blessed to be part of an organization where her administrative colleagues have become her dearest friends, where the children and their families have become intrinsic to her life, and where she gets pleasure greeting and spending time with such a wonderful staff every day.

In her personal life, Karen has the best of friends whom she considers family and who envelop her with love and support. This love and support started with her parents and grandparents. Karen is fortunate to be celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary with her wonderful husband, Marvin, in November of this year. She is the mother of two fantastic daughters, Marnie and Rochelle, and sister of a terrific brother, Michael. (And let’s not forget her adorable dog, Henry.)

This has been an extraordinary adventure for her and she is honored to be the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.