Karen Yaccarino

I am the mother of 7 beautiful children and a daughter-in-law who I love dearly. I have been graced with 35 years of marriage, children that love and support each other and a husband that supports my involvement in my interests. I grew up in Greendale, attending St. Alphonsus school for grades 6 through 8. I attended St. Mary’s Academy for High School, and I am a graduate of UW-La Crosse with a major in Chemistry. My children have all attended Greendale schools with my youngest slated to graduate from the high school in 2022. I love outdoor activities especially canoeing and camping.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I have 7 children ranging in age from 16 to 32. Our family was blessed with the addition of a daughter-in-law in 2018. My second son died of SIDS in 1990 before he was 1 year old but the time we had with him has created a better world in so many ways not limited to his effect on our family values and goals.

Q: Please tell us about your current career. What do you love most about what you do?
I am currently employed as a paraprofessional at Greendale High School. What I love most about my job is that I get to experience youth changing the world we live in. I get to see, first hand, that there is strength in numbers, the power of resiliency, the joy in friendships formed and the compassion of our youth for each other and the world we live in.

Q: Please tell us about any volunteering that you have done or currently do.
Volunteer is defined as a person who works without being paid, but isn’t that living a life and being involved in your community? I have supported different activities in Greendale over the years, the majority of them driven by a large “volunteer” force. These forces are what make Greendale such an awesome place to live in, work in, and my role in these activities is just one of many. If I was to give a shoutout to the citizenship of Greendale for activities dear to my heart it would go to all of the scout leaders, both Boy Scout and Girl Scout, in our district. I would want to thank the countless people who have supported my children through their faith formation classes at St. Alphonsus. An activity dear to my heart, and missing this fall, is the Greendale High School Marching Band. The groups of volunteers that support this activity are varied in role and scope but help create an activity that is such a nurturing environment for the youth of our community.

Q: Please tell us about any interesting or unique hobbies that you have?
I play the Highland Bagpipes in a Milwaukee based Scottish bagpipe and drums band.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in Greendale? What do you love there?
I very much like Panther Pub! I love the pictures on the walls of Greendale’s youth over the years. I like that it is a meeting place and that everyone is always made to feel welcome.

Q: How long have you lived or worked in Greendale?
My parents moved our family to Greendale in 1973. When Dennis and I bought our home, we had a residential restriction on us so we live in the city but commute to Greendale for most educational and recreational activities. I started working for the school district in 2017.

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
My favorite TV series was and is West Wing!

Q: What advice would you give to people?
Be involved. Be involved in your children’s lives, your community’s life, and in the world. Know that whatever you do is felt by many and that it is all of our responsibility to make the world the best it can be.

Q: What is something on your bucket list?

Q: What is your go to band when you can’t decide what to listen to?
Piano Guys

Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Greendale?

Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would you meet for this lunch?
Michelle Obama and I would want to show her our community garden and have lunch there under the pergola.

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Greendale?
I love the sidewalks that cut through neighborhoods linking areas together. I love the community park system and the local green spaces. I love the village area where everyone says Hi to each other even if they don’t know each other’s names.

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
The Highlands of Scotland

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
Favorite month: October. Favorite holiday: Christmas. Favorite best single day on the calendar: October 26th.

Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
My children

Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My father inspires me to be better. He has always made me feel that I could be whatever and whoever I want to be AND that whoever I am at that moment is great. It makes me want to be the best that I can be all the time. It is very inspirational.

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
family, love, peace