Now serving her fifth term, state Rep. Karen Boback, Ph.D. 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 known advocate for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens and the environment, and is a founding member of the Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Elder Abuse Task Force.
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.
In 2015, House Majority Whip Brian Cutler selected Karen to serve as the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Welfare. She will also serve on the Appropriations, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness, Tourism and Recreational Development, and Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees in the 2015-16 legislative session.
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.
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 in elementary/special education from College Misericordia, two master’s degrees – one in elementary guidance (Marywood University) and the other in education with a specialization in technology (Misericordia University) – and a doctorate in organizational leadership 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 also 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 that NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) 2012 Guardian of Small Business Award.
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
• The Luzerne County Farm Bureau
She is past president of the Back Mountain Memorial Library board of directors and 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 Jr., have two children, Karen Christina and Bernard J. Boback III.
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