Local News

Chapel Hill Teacher/Author Uses Past To Shape Future

Posted September 30, 2003

— A Chapel Hill teacher-turned-author is using her past to shape the future.

Erika Karres said she took nothing for granted growing up in Germany after World War II.

"The country was destroyed, and there was such a feeling of guilt," she said.

Karres said she came to America with a need and desire to do some good. She was in a state of desperation but made it to Orange County, where she taught public school for 30 years. Now, she writes books about her past and her profession.

"They're A-plus teachers. I feel that no one realizes what a difficult job they have," she said.

Karres is retired from teaching, but she is still teaching, putting on paper the hard lessons she learned as a desperate child and applying them to the classroom.

"When you have the desire and you have learned lessons, you need to pass them on," she said.

Karres has written five books -- four on education and one about her childhood in Germany. A few years ago, she was awarded the state's highest civilian honor for community service - the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.


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