As administrative assistant to McHenry High School Associate Principal Terry Fitzgibbons, Cathy Karnatz likes to call herself the “concierge service” at Upper Campus – or “a help desk.” She does a little bit of everything.
But it is her work making sure each class has a teacher or a substitute that has stood out to her colleagues, and led to her being named the December Staff Member of the Month. With cold and snowy weather and illness, winter months can be challenging for finding substitute teachers. Of course, a worldwide pandemic doesn’t help.
So, every day she checks to see where substitute teachers are needed, and when there aren’t enough subs, she asks other teachers to help. Karnatz is quick to point out that teachers are behind her success.
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if the teachers didn’t respond,” Karnatz said. “I have to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has really helped.”
Others are quick to credit Karnatz for keeping things running smoothly. Dr. John Beerbower, McHenry Strength director and assistant chair for health, physical education and driver’s education, awarded Karnatz the weekly Warrior Workout Belt recently, noting her going above and beyond, and for being dependable in adversity.
Fitzgibbons and others noted that Mrs. Karnatz helps in every way to keep things running smoothly at Upper Campus.
“Mrs. Karnatz has been a rock in the building as far as assisting us with getting all of our classes covered with internal subs,” Fitzgibbons said. “I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do on my end without the assistance of Mrs. Karnatz.”
A MCHS employee for 14 years, Karnatz said she has done many jobs in the main office, and enjoyed every one. Having to constantly shift gears to solve another problem can be stressful but it is also rewarding.
“I just try to keep it lighthearted,” she said. “It is different every day.”
Click here to see the video celebrating the award.
The Staff Member of the Month program recognizes MCHS staff members who go above and beyond for the benefit of students. Thanks to the support from Meat and Potato Eatery and Brunch Cafe, each monthly winner receives a gift certificate as well as a plaque.