School committee honors ‘The Queen of Kindergarten’
MARION — The Marion School Committee recognized Karen Santos, also known as “The Queen of Kindergarten” for her 25-year career as a paraprofessional at Sippican School on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Santos plans to retire soon, around the time of her birthday. As part of the School Committee’s tradition of honoring retiring educators with a book in their memory, Committee Chair Michelle Smith dedicated a copy of “Extra Yarn” by Mac Barnett to Santos.
Sippican School Principal Marla Sirois spoke very highly of Santos, saying “her kind manner and gracious smiles and hugs are a blessing to everyone at Sippican School.”
Sirois ended her remarks about Santos with a story about a Sippican School student. When a new kid came to the school, they asked the student who she was, to which they replied without hesitation, “she’s the Queen of Kindergarten.”
Sirois dedicated a copy of the children’s book “Pass it On” by Sophy Henn to Santos to thank her for her contributions to the school.
Superintendent Doug White said that there are many kids at Sippican School who are doing great things today, thanks to Santos’ guidance.
Santos said her retirement is bittersweet since she is looking forward to spending more time with her grandkids in the next chapter of her life, but will greatly miss Sippican School.
“If you have to have a job, this is the best place to have that job,” she said.
Santos said that she will miss everything about the school, and that there wasn’t one thing she could “put her finger on” as the thing she’ll miss most.
She spent her first two years at Sippican Schools working with grades three and under, and dedicated the remainder of her career specifically to kindergarten.
“It’s the best place to be because it’s the beginning of education,” Santos explained.
She added that she likes to be “the light” that inspires a love of learning in kids at an early age.