Dr. Karen Lake has always had education in her blood. Described as a “lifer” in the education system, Lake comes to the Mahwah school district as its new interim superintendent for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year.
Lake, who was appointed to the position on July 1 as the successor to , held her first board of education meeting on Wednesday night, is just starting to learn the ropes about Mahwah.
“I’ve only been here for four days, and I want to get a to know the community, meet with the staff, teachers, principals, and parents, before I put together any plans for the upcoming year,” Lake said. “I do plan on becoming active in the community.”
Lake, who lives in Florham Park, has a lot of experience in the board of education. She hold two masters degrees, one in Education and guidance from Seton Hall and another in school administration from William Paterson, and a doctorate in Education from Seton Hall.
Before moving up the academic ladder, Lake served as a teacher, principal and guidance counselor for schools in the Oradell and Randolph townships; then came her first board of ed. job in Oradell. From there she went onto become the superintendent for Hillsborough, a position she held until 2007.
So far, she is extremely impressed with the town of Mahwah and its facilities for the children. She even took notice that Mahwah has a quaint and charming feel to it, which contrasts with other towns in northern New Jersey.
“I’ve met with the principals and toured the buildings; the facilities are amazing, and I am really impressed with the entire area and activity in the community. There are fields all over, and different events around town.”
Lake, who is a big New York Giants fan, and football fan for that matter, says that she can’t wait for the high school football season to start, and plans on making it to the Thunderbirds home opener in September, as one of her first events when the school year starts.
Still there is the business of Mahwah that has to be taken care of first. She plans on spending a lot of time in town over the next month and a half meeting with community leaders, and local townspeople to get a feel for what the children need come the new school year.
By the time the next board of education meeting roles around August 29, Lake believes she will have learned enough about the town of Mahwah and educational needs in order to best serve them.