Now serving her sixth term, State Representative Karen Boback, PhD, was elected in 2006 to serve the 117th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Residing in Harveys Lake, Karen is a lifelong resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania and understands the issues facing her district.

Karen’s goal is to be accessible, approachable and attentive to the concerns of the citizens of her district. She is a well- known advocate for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens; educational issues; veterans affairs and the environment. She is a founding member of the Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Elder Abuse Task Force and a legislative appointee on the Gino Merli Veterans’s Center Board of Directors.

She is also an advocate for the Commonwealth’s children. In 2014, Boback authored House Bill 1420 which mandated pulse oximetry testing for newborns. This is one of the most effective ways to detect potentially life-threatening heart defects. The bill gained passage in the General Assembly and was signed into law as Act 94 of 2014.

Her passion for education was recognized when, in 2017, House Majority Whip Brian Cutler selected Karen to serve as the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. She also serves on the Appropriations, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness, Tourism and Recreational Development, and Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees in the 2017-18 legislative session. She is chairman of the Northeast Republican House Delegation, and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
Actively involved with women’s issues, Karen is the chairman of the Ladies of the House Caucus and was chosen by Gov. Tom Wolf to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.

Dedicating her life to improving education, Karen has been a positive influence on the youth of her community. She taught in the Tunkhannock Area School District for 33 years and served as an adjunct professor at Wilkes University and Misericordia University. She has developed and helps implement a leadership program offered in schools in her legislative district, and was chosen by East Stroudsburg University as the 2016 Legislative Fellow.

Not only has Karen been devoted to teaching, but she also has enthusiastically pursued information and learning for herself. She earned a bachelor’s degree (BS) from College Misericordia, a master’s degree (MS) from Marywood University, a second master’s degree (MS) from Misericordia University and a doctorate (PhD) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Karen has been recognized on several occasions for her impact on education. She was nominated to represent her school district in the 1994 edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and the 1988 edition of Who’s Who in American Education. Karen was presented the Excellence in Education Award by College Misericordia in 2006.

In addition to her educational accolades, Karen was named Harveys Lake Citizen of the Year in 2006; “Best of the Back Mountain – Elected Official 2008 and 2009;” the 2008 Session “Best of Breed” Legislator Award from the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs; the 2009 Mother Mary Catharine McGann Alumni Achievement Award from Misericordia University; the Tunkhannock Business and Professional Women’s Club Woman of the Year Award 2009; the District 8 Business and Professional Women’s Club Woman of the Year Award 2010; has been named in the 2009 edition of Who’s Who in American Politics; and received the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) 2012 Guardian of Small Business Award. She is the 2017 recipient of the Dr. Kay F. Thompson Outstanding Legislator Award (PA Dental Association), and the Distinguished Service Award from Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

As someone who highly regards community involvement, Karen participates in the following organizations:

• The Greater Federation of Women’s Club – Harveys Lake
• Dallas Rotary
• Dallas Kiwanis
• Harveys Lake Lion’s Club
• Tunkhannock Business and Professional Women’s Club
• Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce
• Back Mountain Chamber of Commerce
• The Federation of Sportsmen’s’ Clubs
• Factoryville Sportsmen’s Club
• Harveys Lake Rod and Gun Club
• Noxen Sportsmen’s Club
• Wyoming/Lackawanna Counties Farm Bureau
• The Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’sCaucus
• Women of the Moose – Tunkhannock Chapter
• Blue Star Mothers of NEPA – Auxiliary

Karen is past president of the Back Mountain Memorial Library board of directors, past president GFWC-Harveys Lake and past president Dallas Women of Rotary. She served on the board of directors of Harveys Lake Protective Association and the Junior League of Wilkes-Barre. She is an auxiliary member of the American Legion in Harveys Lake, and an active member of her church, Our Lady of Victory, where she is a lector and minister of the Eucharist.

Karen and her husband, Bernard J. Boback, have two children, Karen Boback Kriegel and Dr. Bernard J. Boback.

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