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Honoring Karen Poppen

Rep. Jeffrey Denham

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and honor Karen Poppen, retiring Superintendent of Keyes Union School District, and to thank her for her leadership and dedication to the academic advancement of the Central Valley.

Karen was born and raised in Merced, California, where she graduated from Merced High School and Merced College. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English at Whitworth College, now Whitworth University, in Spokane, Washington. After that, she began her career teaching English at Merced High School, where she taught from 1971 through 1974.

Karen retired from teaching in 1974 to raise her two sons. During this time, she volunteered at Catherine Everett and Enslen Elementary Schools in the Modesto City School District and in the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District.

In 1988, she returned to teaching and taught at Yucaipa Middle School and Park View Middle School until December of 1993. During this time, she received her master's degree and administrative credential. In January 1994, she became principal of Yucaipa Adult School and principal of Calimesa Elementary School in July of 1995.

In 2001, she was moved to the District Office as Director of Data Analysis, Grants, and Public Relations.

A year later, Karen moved to Beaumont Unified School District as Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support Services, where she worked for almost five years. In addition, she was an adjunct professor for CSU San Bernardino for five years. On July 1, 2007, Karen became Superintendent of Keyes Union School District and currently serves as a member of the Keyes Municipal Advisory Council.

Karen married Daryl Poppen on July 1, 1972, and this summer they will celebrate their 40th anniversary.

After retirement, Karen and her husband plan to do some short-term mission work overseas with Operation Mobilization, a worldwide ministry and relief organization working in 110 countries.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in honoring and commending Karen Poppen, Superintendent for Keyes Union School District, for her numerous years of selfless service to the education of our community.