Karen Giuffre’ M.Ed.
Administrator: Chief Executive Officer
According to Karen, “Education should nurture our most vital community asset – our children.” As the Founding Director of Voyagers’ Community School, Karen is shifting and disrupting the education paradigm. Each day she tells and shows children and adults that anything is possible, that dreams motivate, curiosity inspires, and they have the power to change the world.
A respected industry thought leader and speaker, Karen is an active member of a number of boards, committees, and progressive organizations where she shares her expertise in non-profit operations, curriculum development, and educational revolution as a global undertaking, with children’s interests at the fore. Karen helps schools integrate progressive approaches in classrooms and across all schools and school systems — whether public, charter, or private. She also advised start-up school efforts. Voyagers’ Community School serves as her proof of concept!
With a vision and philosophical foundation for a private, nonprofit independent school, where traditional academics are taught in non-traditional ways, Karen fearlessly purchased an abandoned and blighted 18,000 sq ft building and restored it to its original grandeur. It is now the home of Voyagers’ Community School, which serves 87 children from 6 months to 18 years of age. Karen sits on the Board of Directors as the Secretary, serve as a career and college counselor, and often is a visiting faculty member in the high school, teaching Global Studies.
Karen is dedicated to creating stronger, healthier learning environments that foster the spirit of childhood, while arming students with valuable education and life and leadership skills. Under her tutelage, 100% percent of Karen’s advisees have been accepted to 4-year colleges and universities.
Karen’s collaborative education approach is inspired by many innovative practices — one of which is the Reggio Emilia philosophy of early childhood education, leveraging the innate curiosity of children to guide learning, emphasizing respect, responsibility, and community involvement.
Karen received her BA in Political Science and Communications from Hood College and her M.Ed. in Education and Partnership from Goddard College. She has also participated in Advanced Studies in Exercise Physiology at Springfield College and earned a Master’s Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA.
Karen began her teaching career in Harvard, Massachusetts where she taught 5th, 6th, and 8th-grade social studies. This was followed by years of serving as a teacher and director of fitness and recreation programs. Karen developed an elementary interdisciplinary curriculum as a researcher and writer and then as a trainer and promoter of the national physical education program, Physical Best. Karen’s children inspired her to create a progressive learning environment that honors all children as people. She founded Voyagers’ Community School in 2004 after spending 18 months composing the philosophical foundation that guides the school’s day-to-day operations. From 2013 through the spring of 2017, Karen served as the Co-Chair of the Middle State Association Accreditation Team, which resulted in procuring accreditation for Voyagers’ Community School.
Karen has garnered recognition as the Keynote Speaker and Presenter at both national and local professional conferences, including, most recently, the Association for Constructivist Teaching Conference and the Progressive Education Network. She has been a Guest on DisruptED TV, CEO Chat on RVNTV, and several international podcasts. Karen served as an expert childhood and parenting panelist on the international Hackmankind. Karen serves as the New Jersey State Liaison for the Alternative Education Resource Organization. She also served as Chairperson and Treasurer for the New Jersey Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia, President of A Child’s Place Education Fund, a member of The Colts Neck 9/11 Committee, and past Treasurer and President of The Colts Neck PTO.
Each day, Karen looks forward to growing Voyagers’ Community School while sharing widely about our mission. On a larger scale, through her speaking engagements and media appearances, Karen encourages parents, teachers, and business community leaders to demand more for our children, and for children to be respected as powerful, resourceful, and competent with intelligence, curiosity, and a try-and-try again focus — here and now!
There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.