Taft Remembers Karen May

Head of School Peter Becker ’95 recently shared the following remembrance of Karen May, faculty emerita.

It is with sadness that I share the news of the passing of Faculty Emerita Karen May. Karen was a beloved member of the Taft community who dedicated more than 20 years of her life to Taft students and faculty, leaving an indelible mark on our community.

Karen brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Taft when she arrived as a learning specialist in 1998. Her experience included time as a special education teacher, independent learning specialist, and academic guide for gifted students with learning differences. Her innovative approach to translating complex student evaluations into accessible one-page documents helped teachers better understand and support their students.

Karen was instrumental in creating the Moorhead Academic Center, serving as its first director from 2004-2016 and laying the foundation for the support and resources that have positively impacted countless students over the years. She worked with Taft students on everything from study tips and learning strategies to testing accommodations and formal learning plans until her retirement in 2022.

“I think the role I play is one of empowerment,” Karen said in an interview before her retirement. “I tell every student I see, ‘I want you to feel competent, I want you to understand who you are as a learner, and I want you to be able to communicate that — to advocate for yourself in any situation.’”

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Karen’s family, friends, and all those who had the privilege of knowing and learning from her.

A memorial service to honor Karen’s life and contributions to Taft will be announced in the spring. An obituary is available here.

Read a December 2015 Papyrus article by Lauren Pelosi ’18 about Karen May and her work in the MAC.

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