The Kansas Athletic Training Society has awarded their 2021 Athletic Trainer of The Year Award to 2001 Lebo High School graduate Karen DeDonder Garrison.
Karen is currently a lecturer in the Washburn University Kinesiology Department where she teaches a full load of courses to students who primarily are headed into healthcare based graduate schools. Karen also works part time for Stormont Vail providing athletic training services to area high schools for their athletic events. Karen has worked at WU for 12 years and served in both the Kinesiology Dept and the Athletic Dept as an athletic trainer working with all WU sports.
After high school, Karen attended Washburn University and earned a BS in Athletic Training in 2005, She received her Masters in Sports Administration from the University of Nebraska Kearney in 2008
When asked about her memories of her time at Lebo High, Karen said, “High school was a great time in my life. I remember more than anything the people: my friends of course, but also their families, and the community members. I will always value that I grew up in small, rural communities because those communities value student success more than anything. I also feel very fortunate that I was blessed with so many other great kids to go to school with and most of us stay in very close touch still today. I don’t make it back to Lebo often, but I love that when I do it’s inevitable to run into people who still genuinely care about how you are doing. Obviously it would be hard to also not recognize all the great things we got to accomplish on the volleyball and basketball court in our four years. We had some great times and wins during our four years and I will always fondly remember those.”
Karen is married to Wes Garrison and they have three children, Issac (10, Helen (6) and Benjamin (4). The Garrison live in Wabaunsee county and are very active in their church, youth sports, 4-H and a lot more! The Garrisons still make time to visit Karen’s parents farm in Reading, which may be her kids’ favorite place on earth!!