Karen Goodno-McGuire, Harborlight’s Middle School teacher of Humanities and Writing Workshop, has been at Harborlight for 10 years. Prior to teaching at Harborlight, Karen was an adjunct professor of both History and English at Salem State University and Marian Court College. A born actress, Karen has a BFA in Theater Performance and was a professional musical theater actress.
Choosing to combine her love of performing, history, and writing, Karen went back to school and earned dual Masters degrees in both History and English. Developing a deep love for the World War I era, Karen spoke at various national conferences about British women’s roles during the war. (She met her husband at one of these conferences; he helped her clean up the hot chocolate she spilled.)
During her graduate school years, Karen worked as a National Park ranger at Salem Maritime (Salem, MA) and even got to sail on the Friendship overnight when she went to a schooner festival. While an adjunct professor, Karen also spent many wonderful years as a tour guide at Orchard House, the home of Louisa May Alcott (author of Little Women) in Concord, MA. Following extensive research at Houghton Library (Harvard), Karen self-published a book, Team Laurie, about the real-life models for the Little Women character “Laurie.” Karen even got married at Orchard House, in the same room as Louisa May Alcott’s older sister.
Karen now throws her love for performing into the classroom when she re-enacts Salem Witch Trial behaviors, helps the students memorize poems to share with the younger classes, and guides the students through reading and performing Shakespeare each year. Occasionally she even performs herself, at Harborlight’s Fall Festival. She’s also a voracious reader and aspiring author, so keep your eye on the Young Adult bookshelves!