Kristeen M. Kaczka '79
BS, Health Education
Kristen M. Kaczka is a Health Educator and Department Chair at New Milford High School. She has lived in Danbury for close to 30 years with her husband Bob and her two children, Evan and Jonathan. Kaczka’s post-secondary education began at Katharine Gibbs in New York City where she earned an Associate’s degree. “Dissatisfaction with the male-dominant business environment” led her to initially pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of South Carolina in 1975. However, Kaczka quickly changed to health education as the result of having severely dynamic instructors in her health education courses. A move back to the Northeast after her marriage to Bob in July, 1975, necessitated a search for a university that offered a health education major. WestConn fulfilled that need where she initially became a part-time student. However, when Kaczka and her husband moved to Danbury in 1976, she made up for lost time by overloading herself with 18 to 21 credits a semester to graduate Magma Cum Laude in 1979 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education.
She secured her first job as a health educator at Avon High School. With the birth of her first son, Evan, in 1982, Kaczka resigned from her job in Avon and took a position at the Planned Parenthood of Danbury in 1983. While at Planned Parenthood, she served as a Clinical Assistant and Community Educator for four years during which time her second son, Jonathan, was born. From 1987 to 1989, Kaczka remained at home with her two boys, teaching some health education classes at the Wooster School. In the summer of 1989, Kaczka began working part-time for New Milford High School, teaching two freshman health classes. Upon the retirement of New Milford High School’s full-time health educator in 1992, Kaczka assumed this position. She took a year’s leave of absence from her job to obtain her Masters degree in Technology Education from Central Connecticut State University in 1997. Upon returning to New Milford High School in 1997, Kaczka developed and taught a new course, Allied Health Careers that was received by her students.
In 1998, Kaczka was named Department Chair of Health and Physical
Education Program at New Milford High School. In December 2000, she earned
her Intermediate Supervisor’s Certificate from Southern Connecticut State
University. Kaczka is a CSDE-BEST Trained Mentor, and continues to supervise
several student health teachers from WestConn, three of which she hired. She
serves as the Chair for the Student Assistance Team, and secured budgetary
support for In-School Counselors to assist students with mental health
needs. Kaczka and her husband are now into a new phase of their lives with
both boys away at college. She spends her leisure time walking, gardening,
reading and doing crossword puzzles, as well as driving to Bentley College
on weekends, to see her son, Jon, play football.