Written by Daniel Lawrence
Karen Toavs, the new high school English instructor for the Culbertson School District, is looking forward to returning to high school education after four years of teaching middle schoolers.
She said she loves the energy of middle school students, yet enjoys how high school students are able to solve more complex problems.
A native of Big Timber, Toavs is starting her eleventh year of teaching. Toavs enrolled in Montana State University Northern at Havre, where she doubled majored in English and history secondary education. Toavs said she did not dream of becoming a teacher as a child, but taking a class in university lead to a career path. Toavs also earned a master’s in teaching and technology.
The Toavs family moved to Culbertson after teaching for several years in New Town and Williston, N.D. Her husband, a diesel mechanic, is a native of Wolf Point, and Culbertson was deemed close enough to home. They have two sons, one a fifth grader, the other a first grader. Toavs is one of three sisters and has one brother. All three sisters are teachers.
During her time in North Dakota, Toavs was named the 2011 North Dakota teacher of the year, and met President Obama in a trip to Washington, D.C., for the award. Toavs stated the Culbertson School District is the first time she has taught at a district using the trimester system, and she is looking forward to utilizing the new format. Her classes offered this year range from technical writing, British literature and historical texts and literature.
When asked about her favorite writers, Toavs stated she is an admirer of Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft while possessing an eclectic range of tastes. Toavs is still deciding on if she will throw a stuffed Cthulhu doll at her class.