Karen Jackson ’87
Karen Jackson’s love for volleyball began in North Vernon, Indiana, and the Mount can thank her father, Albert, that she chose to pursue her love of the game here. Karen heard about a volleyball tryout that was happening at the Mount. She didn’t want to attend, but her father encouraged her to pursue it. After completing a two-hour practice, she left knowing she wanted to enroll at the Mount and play volleyball.
A four-year starter on the volleyball team, Karen was an outstanding impact player and a fearless opponent on the court. She was the captain for two years of the close-knit team, and today Karen still keeps in contact with some of her teammates. One special memory is that the team did not lose a home match during her senior year.
Over the years she led the teams in aces (66) in 1983; was voted Most Valuable Player and Best Offensive Player in 1984 when she led the team in kills (497); was voted Most Valuable Player and Most Offensive Player again in 1985 when she led the team in kills (447); and was All-District 22 and Honorable Mention All-American. She was co-Most Valuable Player in 1986 when she again led the team in kills (472), was All-District 22, All-Ohio First Team, and an All-American Candidate District 22.
Karen gives credit for her success to her family and coaches. Her mother, Margaret, taught her to be strong, fight through illness and never give up. She learned to respect coaches and to follow orders from her father, and her brothers were there for support as well. Mount Volleyball Coach Mary Biermann was smart, determined, organized, and stern. She gave Karen the confidence and knowledge to coach and teach. Of her former coach, Karen said, “I hope that I can inspire my players the way she inspired me.”
Karen has been teaching since she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education/health. She later earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Montevallo in Alabama.
She is currently a physical education teacher at North Vernon Elementary School and a volleyball coach at Jennings County Middle School in Indiana. Karen is a member of the Indiana State Teachers Association and the Indiana Alliance of Physical Education in Recreation and Dance. She actively volunteers in the Women’s Giving Circle of Jennings County and her local Youth Volleyball Camp, Art Camp, and Relay for Life.