Karla Geiger

I am a Greendale resident that chose this community with my husband when we were ready to send our son to kindergarten. We researched schools and narrowed it down between the Madison area and Greendale. We are grateful that we made the choice that we did! Now, I am blessed to work for Greendale Schools. Amazing how life can come full circle!!

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
Chris & I have been married for 34 years. We have two kids that have found people they love, so now we have four kids. Zach is married to Tessa and they are both amazing high school teachers. Brit is engaged to Nik. She teaches 2nd grade and he builds barns.

Q: Please tell us about your current career. What do you love most about what you do?
I currently work in Athletics at GHS. I came to a realization about 10 years ago that every volunteer opportunity that I chose to participate in had to do with children. I realized that I needed to work in a school and be with kids every day!

Q: Please tell us about any volunteering that you have done or currently do.
I am passionate about volunteering!! I am wrapping up my year as President of the Southeast Wisconsin Master Gardener Volunteers and have volunteered with that group during the 4 years that I have been a member. I enjoy volunteering at GHS School Garden, Chairing the Youth Gardening Outreach Committee, and providing educational presentations, as needed. I co-advise the GHS Buddy Club, which is an inclusive club that focuses on friendship, kindness and community. Our family has volunteered at the Night to Shine Prom, where some of our Buddy Club friends have also attended . I have been a Sunday School teacher for St. Alphonsus for over 20 years and find great joy in sharing faith journeys with our youth. I have also been a SVDP meal program coordinator through church for over 15 years. I serve as a committee chair for the Greendale Health Department Food & Nutrition Workgroup, encouraging residents to eat more fruits and veggies. Our family helps volunteer and serve meals on holidays for Community Projects for Seniors. We just finished baking Cookies for Soldiers, which we do every November, typically with Buddy Club members.

Q: Please tell us about any interesting or unique hobbies that you have?
I love to garden and my husband is an amazing Mr. Fix It. He works for a company that manages affordable housing for families, seniors and special needs groups. About 5 years ago, a need for gardens for the residents of those apartments became obvious, but was without budget. Chris & I solicited donations from vendors, bought an old used truck, and personally bought, built, filled and planted garden beds throughout Wisconsin and into Iowa. During those 5 years, we built 134 community gardens at 74 sites, benefiting over 3636 residents. We even won an international award for this project. The best part is that now when rehab or new construction is done, these gardens are part of the building process, because they are such an amazing benefit to the resident. So great that the program can now sustain itself.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in Greendale? What do you love there?
When we would go out, which has been quite some time, we would go to Panther Pub. I always love how they support the community, including displaying photos of our GHS athletes!

Q: How long have you lived or worked in Greendale?
We have lived in Greendale since June of 1997 and I have worked at GHS for over 10 years.

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Greendale?
I really admire Betty Ferchoff. She would donate ice cream when I was the PTO parent coordinating the Pasta Dinner at College Park, and then at GMS and then at GHS. Then, I would be at Sunday mass, and she would be the reader, and I just saw such a humble kindness and sense of community in her. I want to be her when I grow up!.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
We have always hoped that we would travel to Germany. That is our heritage, and our daughter had visited there on an exchange program, so it would be wonderful if she could be our tour guide.

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
The older I get, the more I realize that I need to relate to the characters of books and movies or shows. I recently find Good Doctor quite profound and relatable.

Q: What advice would you give to people?
Be kind. Appreciate family. Listen to others. Breathe.

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
Become a teacher.

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

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?
I would like to have lunch with Michelle Obama. I think I would suggest Panera. You can sit there and chat forever!

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Greendale?
The village proper still gives me goosebumps, as you drive towards Village Hall. When we first moved here, we helped build Jaycee Park, and that is still the kind of community that we call home.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Hoping to be retired, and helping our kids with our grandchildren!!

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I know how to side a house! Really!

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Hawaii, with the kids!! Our daughter won two tickets at a raffle for $1.00!

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
October, birthday month and fresh start. Easter, time of renewal. August 2, our anniversary and we always do something fun!

Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Any day that a kid makes you realize why you work at a school!

Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My husband and kids!! They are rockstars!

Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Coffee and chocolate! Is there anything else?!

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Love, Safe, Sacred.