karen

She Gives Us High Grades

Then: FRCC A.A GRADUATE NOW: PRINCIPAL, THUNDER VALLEY K-8 SCHOOL, FREDERICK

When she enrolled in college right out of high school, Karen had no intention of becoming a teacher. Her family was rife with education professionals, and she was determined to take a different path. So years later – after leaving college, marrying, starting a family, and moving across the country – Karen was surprised when one of her children’s teachers noted how natural she seemed in her role as a volunteer assistant in the classroom. And Karen had to admit she enjoyed it.

Evidently, teaching was in her genes. But where to start? To Karen, it seemed too late to return to school. That is, until she discovered FRCC. Here she found the support, community, and flexibility to earn an Associate of Arts degree while still raising her children. And then she was unstoppable. In fact, after graduation, Karen transferred to Metropolitan State University of Denver to complete her bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing. Next, she earned a master’s degree in literacy at the University of Colorado, then her principal’s license, and finally a Ph.D. in education and public policy – writing her dissertation on spirituality and school leadership – from the University of Denver.

Today Karen is the principal of Thunder Valley K-8 School in Frederick. And she has come to recognize that education has always been her calling. It just took FRCC to help her answer it.

"Being a school principal is the best job in the world. I get to be with kids every day. And I know that my staff and I are positively impacting the lives of hundreds of children every single day. I would not be where I am today if I had not been greeted by caring and supporting staff the first time I walked into the Admissions and Counseling Office of FRCC 26 years ago."