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Meet Karen Hobbs

Posted November 21, 2012 in Community Featured, Pleasant Hill

Karen Hobbs teaches biology at Southeast Polk High School.

A love of science and a love of children combined into the perfect career for Karen Hobbs.

“I have always loved science, and I have always loved children,” the Southeast Polk biology teacher says. “Because I wanted to focus on family, it seemed that teaching would balance my career and family.”

One thing Hobbs enjoys is designing creative teaching methods.

“I like when I can excite students about science,” she says. They just have such future potential.”

Hobbs was born in New Haven, Conn. She spent her childhood in York, Pa. and her teen years in Wellesley, Mass.

“It was a neat place to grow up,” Hobbs says. “I played outside a lot, and went down to the shore.  My dad was a fisherman. I learned to sail; we had the benefit of oceans and mountains.”

She was also able to feed her love of science and nature with visits to museums and park.

“South of Gettysburg, Pa., I would climb on big huge boulders in Devil’s Den, she says. “I remember as a teenager in Massachusetts; we were just outside of Boston. So I would ride the subway into Boston and see all kinds of cool stuff. There was a lot of progressive thinking out there. It was a great place to grow up — even though I didn’t want to leave York.”

Hobbs’ family moved to Iowa during her sophomore year of college, and she graduated from Northwest Missouri State. She was drawn back to the East Coast, where she met her future husband.

“We spent a summer-to-fall on Mount Ascutney, Vt., in a three-sided log cabin and a dirt floor,” she says. “We didn’t have electricity or running water. We had to carry our water from the mountain springs, and cook over a rock hearth.”

But the Midwest beckoned.

“My family drew me back to Iowa,” she says. “I missed them.”

Karen and her husband, Kevin, live in Grimes. They enjoy going to the movies, gardening, traveling, and spending time with their family.  Someday they hope to travel to England and Italy.

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