Kind. Helpful. Respectful. Thoughtful. Loving. These are the descriptive words that come to mind when I think of Mrs. Corrigan. I moved to Little Compton over the summer and one of the first teachers I met at my new school, Wilbur & McMahon School, was the school librarian. I had Library/Media 5 every Monday with Mrs. Corrigan in the Fall. It was my favorite class. I felt comfortable with her. She helped me learn the ins and outs of the school and was one of my first friends. She also taught me everything I know now about technology.
Mrs. Karen Corrigan was born in July of 1965, in Rhode Island. Her mother was Barbara (Rowan) Menard and her dad was William Menard. Both have passed away. Mrs. Corrigan is the oldest of five children. She has two brothers and two sisters. Her sisters are Susan and Eilene, and her brothers are Mike and Steve. She grew up in the city of Central Falls, RI. She went to a Catholic school for elementary and middle school. The school was named Holy Trinity School in Central Falls, RI. Ms. Karen has lived in RI all her life. She is French and Irish. I think that’s where she gets her little accent. Ms. Karen’s Irish relatives come from County Mayo, Ireland. County Mayo is on the coast of Ireland, just like Little Compton is on the coast of Rhode Island.
Mrs. Karen Corrigan is not from Little Compton, but her grandparents had a summer house near the beach in Little Compton. She visited them every summer. Mrs. Corrigan is twelve years older than her youngest sister, so she did a lot of babysitting. Her fondest childhood memories are visiting her grandparents in Little Compton. She loved going to the beach, shopping at the vegetable stands, and playing with her cousins. Her grandmother would fry up her uncle’s freshly caught fish for fish and chips. Yummy! Ms. Karen’s mom and grandfather were the biggest influences in her life. Her mother was a hard worker and supported their family so much. Mrs. Corrigan admired her mother’s work ethics. Her grandfather was a wonderful man, too. He was caring and loving.
Did you know Mrs. Karen Corrigan dreamed of being a teacher? Since she was little, she wanted to be a teacher. She would play school all the time! The best thing that could have ever happened to her was meeting her husband. She actually went to school with her husband up to third grade. He changed schools and they lost touch until Ms. Karen was 18. She got a job at a local McDonalds and guess who was there working, too! They have been together ever since. The Corrigans have now been married for 36 years. Mrs. Karen Corrigan has two children. Her daughter, Brett, is 33 years old and her son, Miles, is 29.
Right now Mrs. Corrigan is a librarian teacher at the Wilbur McMahon School. Before that she was a librarian at the Little Compton Brownell Library. Ms. Karen was not a librarian her whole life, though. After her kids were born she worked at Lee’s Market and in local offices as a secretary. She went to three colleges, CCRI, RIC, and URI, before becoming a librarian teacher at WMS.
Mrs. Corrigan lives in a house that her grandfather built in the 1940s. Her grandfather sold it to a family that rented it to Mrs. Corrigan and her husband in 1976. They ended up having to sell it and the Corrigan family moved out and rented another place in Little Compton until 1999. Mrs. Corrigan and her husband bought the house and have been living there ever since! It is right down the street from where her grandparents lived, near South Shore Beach! Ms. Karen holds family gatherings at her house in Little Compton close to the beach all the time. She carries on the tradition started by her grandparents.
In her free time she likes to read books, walk, do yoga and spend time with her family. She likes to collect Golden Books, too. Mrs. Corrigan has over 600 books in her collection! She stores them all over her house. She has bookshelves in every room! More fun facts, Mrs. Corrigan loves to go to thrift shops, other libraries, and book sales.
I have a lot in common with Mrs. Corrigan. My Nana has a house near the beach on the Cape. I visit her every summer and play with my cousins, go to the beach, and enjoy my Nana’s seafood cooking just like Mrs. Corrigan. My dad goes clamming and fishing and then brings it home for my Nana to cook in a lobster boil for the whole family to eat together! The last thing Mrs. Karen Corrigan said in our interview was that she sees a lot of herself in me. She makes me feel so special.
Based on an interview with Karen Corrigan, Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Written by: Sara Higgins, Grade 5 – Wilbur & McMahon School