If you’ve got great high school memories of football games, after-school clubs or a perfectly coordinated graduation ceremony, you may want to thank someone like Karen Cohn.
As head activities director for the Miami-Dade County public school district, Cohn has spent more than a decade making memories for students across the county.
She is retiring Friday after working in education since she started teaching at age 22.
In that time, she’s helped launch countless clubs, coordinated field trips to everywhere imaginable and run contests of all kinds.
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“I’ll miss the interaction with the students and with the people that I work with, because to me that’s everything,” Cohn said. “I felt very valued.”
Part of her duties have included planning graduation ceremonies for every high school in the district — 57 schools in all. That includes picking a date that all the dignitaries agree on, securing venues and setting the rules for smooth ceremonies.
“That’s not an easy job,” said School Board Vice Chair Larry Feldman. “It’s something that, if it’s not done perfectly, it could ruin a ceremony that kids have waited 12 years for.”
Gersie Arnold, activities director for iPrep Academy in downtown Miami, called Cohn “a person who doesn’t look at her clock.”
“She was always available to us,” Arnold said. “Activities, it’s a big job. It’s an important job. And she was just the go-to person for answers — and we have lots of questions.”
Cohn said she’s looking forward to traveling, skiing and spending time with her family.
“I really wanted to be a teacher, and I got to be one,” said Cohn, 65. “I’ve been really happy to do it all of these years.”
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