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Remembering North Park Administrative Assistant Karen Crotty and Memorial Information

Karen Crotty | Then and Now

In partnership with her family, North Park will host a drive-by Celebration of Ms. Karen’s Life 4:30-5:30 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 26. This will take place in the horseshoe outside the new main entrance at North Park providing a memorial opportunity that will allow everyone to remain in their car. Karen’s family will be our guests of honor.

Please join us in recognizing the impact Karen had on our community through generations of families.


It is with great sadness Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) and North Park School for Innovation share the passing of North Park Administrative Assistant Karen Crotty after a long illness. Crotty has been a valued employee of CHPS for over 35 years, a lifelong resident of Columbia Heights and a CHPS graduate.

Crotty started serving in the District when she was just 19 years old. She was hired as North Park’s Administrative Assistant in 1985 and has served several generations of students since.

“Karen’s kindness and care for North Park families has been a hallmark of our school community,” said North Park Principal Jeff Cacek. “Her ability to connect with people whether the interaction was routine or challenging is something I learned from every day. Karen is a North Park institution and leaves a legacy that will live on in the DNA of our school.”

Infinite kind words were said of Crotty this week as staff reflected on her multi-decade legacy.

“Karen Crotty was the perfect school secretary. She had a welcoming smile, contagious laugh, heart of gold and a side of spunk. I would tell all of my kindergarten parents to go to the office and ask Karen with the short spikey hair, She knows everything! And she did,” said North Park Kindergarten Teacher Sarah Hanf. “She exemplified Heights Pride. Karen poured her love into North Park for 35 years and even in my sadness I can feel hope that the love she gave to students and families is being shared back into the world making it a kinder and more welcoming place.”

North Park Science Specialist Stan Mraz noted how Crotty created “a powerful first impression with such an authentic grace.”

“Over the past 35 years, thousands of students, families and staff have walked through the main entrance of North Park to be greeted by a charismatic secretary who immediately acknowledged them with sincere kindness and warmth,” he said.