Teacher Turned Author Shares Her Craft

Teacher Turned Author Shares Her Craft at Wantagh Elementary

Former Wantagh Elementary School teacher Karen Kerge couldn’t stay away for too long. After retiring in June following a 33-year career as an educator, she returned as a published author for a series of assemblies on Feb. 28 and March 1.

Following her retirement, Ms. Kerge wrote “Betsy the Diva Dog” about her 11-year-old canine companion. As a teacher, she captivated her students with tales of Betsy and decided it would make a great book. The theme of the story is that everyone is unique and has their own special talents. 

In meeting with each grade, Ms. Kerge spoke about the writing process and coming up with ideas for stories. Creating the book stemmed from her desire to still make a positive difference for children in her post-teaching career. 

Ms. Kerge noted that publishing a book requires collaboration, discussing how she worked with an illustrator to bring her words to life. She also emphasized to her young audience that reading and writing are interconnected. At the end of her book is a writing prompt for children based on their own personal experiences. 

For 25 years, Ms. Kerge taught fourth grade, then moved to kindergarten for her last eight years. Many students were delighted to see their first ever teacher in Wantagh. 

“This is definitely a walk down memory lane,” Ms. Kerge said. “It’s thrilling to be able to come back to a school I loved.”