by Paula Stachuletz and Morgan Radwick, staff writers
At the start of the 2017-18 school year, Saegertown welcomed Ms. Karen Breisinger as the new teacher in the multi-handicapped room. So far, her experience has been positive. “I really enjoy being here. The staff is very friendly,” Breisinger said.
Ms. Breisinger has a long history of working with handicapped students. After graduating from Bowling Green State University with certifications in special education, English, math, regular education and reading specialism, she worked in Houston and later in Pittsburgh. Twenty years ago she moved to Erie and spent her time caring for her children – two boys, 16 and 21 and a daughter, 26 – for 14 years. In 2009, Ms. Breisinger started working for IU5 as a consultant and taught handicapped children aged three to five. For the last four years, she taught autistic support at Northwestern High School, and in August 2017, she arrived at Saegertown.
“We laugh a lot in here and enjoy the small things they [our students] achieve, even if it’s just baby steps,” she said of her days in the MDS room. She also shared her enjoyment of taking the students to art classes with Ms. Heather Papinchak and sharing gym classes with the other Saegertown students.
Outside of work Ms. Breisinger spends a lot of time with her family, often going to her youngest son’s soccer and tennis matches while generally spending time with her children. She and her husband enjoy visiting Ms. Breisinger’s sister in Colorado, listening to local live bands, and going to concerts. “I used to play violin myself in high school. I don’t know if I was good, but I could memorize up to nine pages of chords, so I guess I wasn’t that bad,” Breisinger said. “I haven’t done it for years, though. I probably forgot a lot of things by now.”
Ms. Breisinger is clearly passionate about working with MDS-students. She is a welcome addition to the Saegertown staff.