Karen Straw was born in Ogden, Utah, and spent her childhood living in Morgan. She is the daughter of a father who was an engineer for the Utah Department of Transportation and a mother who worked at the First National Bank of Morgan. Karen is the middle child in a family of three children, with an older brother and younger sister. As a daughter, wife and mother, Karen values the connection and bond family provides. She is a model of this each day and continues as a constant presence in the day-to-day lives of her parents, children and grandchildren.
Karen’s first school memories include her participation in school productions and plays. She also fondly remembers memorizing poems as part of a poetry unit in third grade. Always talented at creating personal relationships, Karen often left home early in an effort to be one of the first at the bus stop each morning. It was very important for her to be able to spend time with her friends each day before school. Finally, Karen remembers how much she enjoyed the whipped peanut butter served as part of school lunch!
After elementary school, Karen had the unique experience of attending high school in the seventh grade and then moving into the current middle school as the first eighth grade class. As a student body officer that year, she was part of a leadership team that worked closely with the high school SBOs. Together, and with the entire student body, they helped establish the Morgan Middle School Panthers, as they were known at the time. Karen was also part of the original culture of success that was established at the school and continues to this day.
While attending Morgan High School, Karen was a four-year member of the Troyettes. She loved her high school experience and established many long-lasting friendships with not only her classmates, but also the teachers and staff of the school. Many of these relationships continue to this day. After high school Karen attended Weber State College living right off campus in small apartment with five other girls. During the day Karen worked for Browning and then rushed to campus for classes scheduled in the afternoon and early evening. During this hectic period Karen also found time to date her future husband, Tod Straw.
Tod and Karen have now been married for 31 years. Together they have supported each other through both their professional and personal lives. They are the very proud parents of three grown children and now their first grandchild, little Beckham. In her free moments Karen enjoys time with her family, sewing and running. An avid runner, Karen is frequently spotted running the streets of Morgan. Karen and Tod also enjoy motorcycle rides and spend as much time on Tod’s Harley as possible. Harley trips to Canada and along the West Coast stand out as some of Karen’s favorites.
Karen has been a member of the Morgan Elementary School family for 13 years. She has served as the campus secretary for eight of those years. Much like her family away from work, Karen is a very special and essential part of our family. She is the first person most see each day as they enter the school and is always ready with a warm and personal greeting. Along with her secretary duties, Karen creates the campus yearbook and is the team leader for the majority of our support staff. Her broad knowledge of Morgan County and the families that participate in Morgan Elementary is unmatched on campus. She understands teaching and learning and does all she can each day to help facilitate our students’ successes.
We are very fortunate to have Karen as part of our staff. The stories, high-fives and smiles she receives from our students and staff each day are simply an indication of the love we have for her. She is one-of-a-kind and part of the heart of our school. The impact she has with the students of Morgan County will continue for many years and will certainly be part of her legacy.