Hello, I'm Mr. Rick Karmik, art teacher at Washington Elementary! Thank you for checking out my web page. I am in my 4th year back teaching art after quite a few years working in the behavioral health field. Last year was great and I'm looking forward to making this year even better with a new "mobile" classroom. I'm excited to grow in my relationship with the children, families and community that encompass District 63. I will continue to bring my students an art experience that challenges their problem-solving skills, encourages learning from one's mistakes, and helps them to both identify and appreciate the personal successes that occur throughout the art creation process.
A little about me:
I am originally from Des Plaines and currently live with my amazing wife and three girls in Downers Grove. My oldest daughter Addy is pursuing her interest in art at the College of DuPage, my middle daughter Bailey is a Sophomore tennis player at Downers Grove South, and my youngest Eva is a 7th grader who plays softball (pitcher) and now volleyball. Our kiddos grow up too fast! My wife Cyndi is a school counselor at Downers Grove North High School and she too, is ready for a great school year.
As far as my professional experience, I received my Bachelor's in Visual Art Education from Ball State University in Indiana, and Master's degrees in both Art Therapy and Special Education from Emporia State University in Kansas. I started my teaching career in 1996 in Kansas and returned to the Chicagoland area in 2000, teaching for two years in McHenry County. In 2002, I moved into the behavioral health field, and for 17 years I went from a teacher and art therapist providing tutoring and art therapy experiences to hospitalized students to a director of therapeutic day schools, outpatient services and residential programs. I also tried my hand for 2 years at being a hospital administrator as well. I am now blessed to be back doing what I truly love, teaching elementary art and being part of a welcoming and growing community. I can't wait for more great experiences with the Washington Elementary students and staff!