The Sleepy Eye Education Association presented Karen Okerman (right) with their annual Friend of Education award on Aug. 15.

The Sleepy Eye Education Association presented Karen Okerman with their annual Friend of Education award on Aug. 15. SEEA President Mindy Berkner presented the award and read a tribute to Okerman on all the extra things she does for the staff and students at Sleepy Eye Public School—offering her artistic talents to paint murals in classrooms and other locations, creating activities for hobby days, and posters for reading nights, and also working tirelessly to help students succeed. “Karen Okerman is a one of a kind person and this school would not be the same without her,” concluded Berkner. Okerman, a paraprofessional in the elementary school since 1987, said she loves coming to school every day and can’t imagine stopping. She currently works as a para in a kindergarten classroom where she makes every student feel special and loved as she helps them learn.