Tara Kaczorowski knew she wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember.
“I played ‘school’ with my sister,” she said. “Teaching is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Now, as the new chair of Daemen’s Education Department, Kaczorowski is not only teaching students as an associate professor, but she also aims to help future educators through her leadership and guidance.
“My work as a special education teacher made me realize I was doing a lot of teacher development,” she said. “I wondered if I could do more by supporting students who wanted to become teachers.”
“That is when I decided to pursue my career in higher education,” she added.
Kaczorowski completed her undergraduate degree at SUNY Geneseo in childhood education and special education – gaining dual certification along the way.
Directly out of college, she began teaching special education at Attica Central School District.
She later earned her master’s degree from Walden University in elementary reading and math.
After teaching for five years, Kaczorowski earned a PhD in special education with a concentration in technology from the University at Buffalo.
Prior to starting at Daemen, she most recently worked at Illinois State University (ISU), where she taught classes in technology and math in special education, and other subjects.
At ISU, she was the assistant chairperson of her department and focused on assessment, program work and student support initiatives.
Having previously lived in Amherst, New York, Kaczorowski said the COVID-19 pandemic made her think through her priorities, and she realized she wanted to live closer to family and friends again.
When she saw the opportunity at Daemen, she knew it was the perfect opportunity to both advance her career and return to a familiar place.
Kaczorowski said she is very excited to work with the members of the education department to grow and update the programs at Daemen.
“I got a sense of energy that people felt ready to do that work,” she explained, “and that’s what sealed the deal for me.”
Outside of work, Kaczorowski’s passion is theatre – from dancing, to acting and more.
She recalled performing at MusicalFare Theatre back in 2010 in Cabaret – and has also performed at Lancaster Opera House and other venues.
Both her and her husband are active in Buffalo’s theatre community, and she looks forward to continuing to support the arts locally.