Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Cemetery: Long Island Cremation
Carolee Kamin was the most creative, thought-provoking English teacher I ever had. 12th grade English, class of 1968, Great Neck North Sr. High. School . We had some fun gatherings after graduation. So sorry to hear about her passing…
I am so sorry to hear of Carolee’s passing. May her memory be for blessings. Both my sons were in Community School at NHS. Classes of ‘96 and 2000. She touched the lives of so many students and their families. Hers was a life well lived. Is there a charity or scholarship fund in her name?
Carolee was one of the best teachers in the Great Neck School System. She was also a dearfamily friend having taught my brother Lew. I saw Carolee 3 years ago on a trip I made to NYC. We had a lovely lunch and talked about so many things. I too had retired from teaching and I remembered observing Carolee in her classroom. Always a delight to behold. RIP old friend- I shall miss you.
Reading all the tributes to Carolee is so meaningful. I hope she knew what a positive and affirming influence she had on so many of her students. She had a gift that was so fully realized and appreciated.
Carolee was a wonderful and inspiring teacher, and I had a very active and happy relationship with her as a student. She filled her subject matter with intelligence in a way that was fun and engaging. She assigned us an ongoing exercise that was perhaps the most intriguing school assignment of my life – expository writing, doing a page of description each day. Not only the writing itself, but bringing it back to class and getting her comments, was a thrill. Many other things, but a great teacher and great person, very much missed.
Carolee was one of those teachers who you will always remember as he had a deep and lasting impact. She taught me how to think critically, she introduced me to fascinating literature. Even as a teen, I was very taken by how she valued each and every student: whether a “top” AP student or a C student, she pushed them to excel. She showed every student a path for reaching, growing, and improving beyond what they saw for themselves. That made for a wonderful learning environment and community, and also taught me how to help others excel under my guidance. Lifelong lessons and gifts, May her memory be a blessing.
Carolee was a beautiful guiding teacher who changed my life forever. I was a member of the Community School for its first two years, ‘72 and ‘73. How lucky we all were! She instilled in me a lifelong love of literature, and because of her influence, I became a high school English teacher myself. She was the nonpareil. She taught us how to value ourselves, to think for ourselves. We hung out a bit in the decade after I graduated, and we shared so many laughs. She was hilarious, brilliant, elegant. I’m burning a candle in her honor this moment. Her life, legacy, influence, reach will last forever. My sincerest condolences to her family. I simply loved her.
I guess if you’re lucky you have that one teacher who changes everything. Carolee was indeed that one. There were the specifics no question: her classes in Masterworks and Existentialism and Creative Writing, her leadership of the literary magazine (called Epiphany of course), her guidance of the Community School. But there was more, so much more: She instilled in us not just a love of learning but a love with passion. Did I say passion? I meant PASSION! She taught us to savor knowledge, wisdom, analysis, insight. PASSION! for great literature. PASSION! for intellectual debate. PASSION! that would carry through our lifetimes. As indeed it has carried through mine. What a gift she was to those of us who had the great good fortune to have her as our teacher. And to read these tributes, as well as those that have been posted elsewhere, is (with not a little bit of surprise, I confess) to realize that she had similar impact not just on others but on SO MANY others. Thank you for all you gave, Carolee Kamin! May your memory be a blessing indeed!
On a warm spring day, when I was a young student wanting nothing more than to be outside in the sun, Carolee Kamin sat scrunched in her too-small students’ desk, in a basement classroom (!) and began to teach, of all things, poetry. I will never forget that day. Unfazed and untouched by everything around but the book before her, she calmly and clearly read to us: “The world is mud-lucious and puddle wonderful.” Then, she fell silent, and smiled. In that moment, our world changed. We no longer wished to be outside, because the world In here had just opened up, to a road of endless wonder. It wasn’t the classroom that was small – it was our young students’ minds, and Carolee Kamin blew them all wide open forever. Using all her skills (that voice!), she lingered over E. E. Cumming’s invention of the word “Mud-lucious.” She showed us what words, language, love and art can do. She taught us poetry and literature and she was fierce in her determination that we see it all. She was a tough New Yorker with the heart that re-defined Springtime for those of us lucky enough to be in her classroom. We will miss you dearly, Carolee. You made our world Mud-lucious, and puddle wonderful.
Carolee, for a number of us incredibly fortunate high school seniors, you were our English teacher in 1968 – such a bewildering time in History. You were a ROCK for us in every way and at the same time, you pushed us to excellence whether in writing poetry or scholarly papers in literature, you-name-it. I think because of you, Lin-Manuel Miranda will need to alter some of his Hamilton lyrics: instead of only praising NYC as the “greatest city in the world,” we can also think of you & say with assurance from our hearts, “greatest TEACHER in the world.” I mean it, and so many others do too. Can’t thank you enough for such important moments in the classroom – and in LIFE !
Carolee was a wonderful teacher, mentor and friend. I learned so much about life from her and I wouldn’t be in the job I have now without her. Many of my experiences in the workforce stem from my Fieldmester. I think of Carolee every single day when I repeat to myself things she taught me to stay in the moment. She was one-of-a-kind, quirky and loving. She loved all of her students. We loved her. I’m heartbroken, but I know we’ll all keep her soul alive. We were lucky to have known and learned from Carolee.
It is so gratifying to read all of these beautiful tributes to Carolee. She meant the world to me.My most brilliant friend whom I love so much. She will be missed so deeply and forever in my heart.Wish I could have been her student but so very lucky to have been her dear friend.
All of you who have written about Carolee and what a wonderful teacher and human being she was, please know that she knew how much she was loved and admired. She was just as joyous when she heard from us as we were joyous hearing from her. Yes, may her memory be a blessing.
Love these comments. I knew her 1965-68. What stands out to me is how she wasn’t afraid to shared so much of herself as a person, along with her love of literature. We knew all about her diets, her search for a boyfriend… She and Florence Rapoport were beacons for me.
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