I wanted to tell you about Karen Launer. She is an aide at Zelienople Preschool in Butler County. In fact, this year she has been an aide at our school for 50 years!
Each day, Mrs. Launer greets the children wearing a different pair of animal slippers. She is known for her fun slippers, but also for her gentle caring nature. She reminds us every day that there are great new things out there but that sometimes the ways we used to do things can be pretty great too. She still teaches the children nursery rhymes, songs like Head Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes, she plays the autoharp for them and fixes all boo-boos with kisses.
Mrs. Launer often teaches and mentors the parents and caregivers as much as the children. She gives us an admirable example of being a friend, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandma. She is active, strong-minded, energetic, hard-working, innovative and kind.
Mrs. Launer has literally had a hand in educating hundreds of the children. Most of the people who have grown up in our small town Zelienople-Harmony area have had Mrs. Launer as their first teacher. She is currently teaching the third generation of some families!
Mrs. Launer is a true institution of our school and our area and we are all better because of her.
Story shared by Michelle O’Shea, a teacher at Zelienople Preschool. Interestingly, Ms. O’Shea was also once a student at Zelienople Preschool 47 years ago and Mrs Launer was the aide then! Ms. O’Shea has seven children who have gone through the program and of course, all have been taught by Ms. Launer, too!