Mrs. Karen Arena



Degrees and Certifications:

University of Texas at El Paso-Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education

Mrs. Karen Arena

My name is Kandy (Karen) Arena.  I am a 5th and 6th grade Special Education teacher at  Collegiate Academy.  This is my 45th year teaching and working in GISD.  I began my teaching career in 1975 at Stephen F. Austin where I taught social studies for 28 years.  In 2003 I retired but returned two months later to begin a very short stint (one semester) as a substitute teacher.  I was then hired as a math tutor at Burnet.  For the next four years I served as a mentor for new teachers in GISD.  In 2008, I was given the opportunity to return to the classroom as a special education teacher at Weis Middle School.  After Weis was closed, I was transferred to Scott where I have had the privilege of working for the last five years and now Collegiate Academy at Weis. 


My parents, three sisters and I moved to the Island when I was two years old.  I grew up in the East End and attended Rosenberg Elementary School, Stephen F. Austin Junior High, and graduated from Ball High School in 1969 (yes I’m 66!) where I was a Tornette.  I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education.  I returned home and began teaching three months after graduation.  I have been married for 35 years and have two sons, one grandson, and four dogs.  I love to shop, read, and travel south to Progreso Lakes where we have a home.  I do missionary work across the border in Nuevo Progreso.


I love teaching and I am proud to be a part of the Collegiate Academy  family.  Collegiate Academy is an awesome school with a great principal and staff.  My philosophy is this:  Every child can learn, just not on the same day or in the same way.