Mrs. Figler joined the St. Stephen faculty in 1982. She teaches physical education to Kindergarten – 8th grade and Health class to 6th and 7th grades. After school Mrs. Figler coaches the St. Stephen soccer team. She also helps to organize Red Ribbon Week. She has been the recipient of several grants for PE equipment.
Mrs. Figler earned her degree at SUNY at Geneseo and ECC North, majoring in Dietetic Technology with a concentration in Special Education. Certificates are also held in CPR and First Aid through the International Fitness Professionals Association, National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association, accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
In 1987 Mrs. Figler received the St. Stephen’s Service to Education Award. In 2009 she was awarded Citizen of the Year for Community Service by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.
Mrs. Figler served as a substitute teacher in the Ken/Ton School System and since 1980 is the owner of “Karen’s Aerobics.” She is a fitness/nutrition counselor and instructor for Corporate Wellness programs and private group classes. Mrs. Figler has received service and appreciation awards from the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Leukemia Society of America. She has also contributed to the Buffalo News and WIVB through wellness and fitness articles and demos.
In the community, Mrs. Figler has served as the Grand Island Soccer Club coordinator, coach and Board member. At St. Stephens she is also a Eucharistic Minister, Religious Education teacher and a Mission Team member. Prior volunteer positions at St. Stephen School include Vice-president of the Home School Association and fundraising chairperson.
Some thoughts from Mrs Figler:
In your opinion, what is special about St. Stephen School?
St. Stephen School is special because it is faith based. In addition to setting high academic standards, we are allowed to integrate Gospel values into our curriculum. So many opportunities to model Christ’s message.
Why did you want to become a teacher/administrator?
We are God’s hands, feet and voice on this earth. Teaching is one of His ministries – how great is that?!
Do you have a specific goal to achieve through your teaching, a philosophy or desired outcome?
My students won’t care what I have to say if they don’t know that I care about them. Through caring student relationships, I hope to help them develop into good, kind citizens, and impart some knowledge too!
What are you most proud of regarding your teaching experience at St. Stephens?
I am proud of a long-lasting and productive time here and a commitment to our mission that goes beyond the school walls.
Do your students often participate in certain contests or receive recognition?
Over the years, many students have been great representatives of St. Stephen School, athletically and otherwise. What they learn here definitely contributes to that.
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?
I am also a parent of 3 St. Stephen graduates. We should all be thankful to have such a fine Catholic school in our community, especially during these uncertain times in Catholic education. Jesus clearly views children as precious – He tells us we should be more like them and spend more time loving them. At St. Stephen School, we (I) get to do both!