Karen Ruckman

Karen was born and raised in Southern California. She was a drum major in high school and played piano, clarinet, trombone, and tenor sax. She received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Biola University with clarinet being her principal instrument. She performed with the Biola Symphonic Winds and was the student conductor for 2 years. She toured the US and Europe for 3 months with the Continental Orchestra and Singers playing clarinet, and 4 years later she toured for 3 months with the Continental Brass and Singers as an assistant director and playing tenor sax.

After graduating, Karen taught 5th – 12th grade band and handbells while also serving as the music minister at First Presbyterian Church of Downey which is the church she and her husband attended growing up.

When Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas, Karen and her husband, Tom, moved to Kent, WA and within a year Karen began working at Maple Valley Church as the Worship Associate directing the orchestra, handbells and at times the choir. She brought together a children’s choir and began producing a Performing Arts Camp every summer. Over the next 18 years she conducted many Christmas cantatas, Children’s musicals, and 16 years of Performing Arts Camp. It was the dream job and serving in the music ministry gave her joy and an understanding that serving others is a great privilege.

Karen was a competitive swimmer from a very early age through her high school years. She taught many swim lessons in her backyard pool and coached competitive age group swimming and high school swimming all through her years in high school, college and beyond. When her daughters started swimming competitively, she began volunteering at their summer league and club swim meets. She is a USA Swimming Administration Official and enjoys working at swim meets with her husband who is also an Administration official. Currently, she works in the control room at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, verifying times and scores for age group level swim meets, WIAA high school state meets, as well as Div 1 & Div 3 college swim and dive championship meets.

Karen has a very supportive husband, 3 amazing daughters and an awesome son-in-law. She enjoys playing music, working with stained glass and woodworking as well as hanging out with her amazing family anywhere, anytime.