Karen Owen in the News

My Missing Person Monday post will be ready tomorrow, so I offer this instead...
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Since Karen Owen was a lead topic of discussion on television and the Internet last week, I was tempted to offer an opinion.

What do I think of Karen Owen's situation?

No wait.

On second thought, I don't believe I can describe the background of the story and develop a cohesive post without turning this blog X-Rated, so I am hesitant to say anything.

Well, except for this: it has to be at least troubling for all of the talented writers in the blogosphere trying to obtain book deals, to learn that Ms. Owen reportedly attracted two book offers and a possible movie deal with just a PowerPoint presentation.*

*Note: I am not even going to offer a link for this story.  Anyone who does not know what I am talking about is welcome to use their favorite search engine for the details. 

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Since I won't say much about the Ms. Owen in the news, I wanted to mention another Ms. Owen who received very little media attention (the following is from 2009):
Karen Owen, the leader of the Houston school district’s alternative training program for aspiring teachers, died Friday. She was 57. 

Owen began her career in the Houston Independent School District in 1983 as a teacher...

Owen later turned her attention to training teachers and was tapped to run HISD’s alternative certification program, which trains college-educated professionals from other fields to be teachers. 

The program, the oldest in Texas, enrolls several hundred people a year, helping the school district fill a void, particularly for math, science and bilingual teachers. 

“She realized she could change the experience that kids were having by recruiting those people and then getting them into the classroom well prepared,” Koonce added. “There’s hardly a school in the district that has not hired somebody at some point that has come through alternative certification.” 

In 2007, Owen launched a similar alternative certification program for principals, making HISD the first school district in the state to have such a program. 

Owen’s mother, Rosa Kathryn Gupton, also was a teacher, at the University of Houston. 
The daughter of educators, Owen emphasized the importance of lifelong learning with her own children, Jennifer Owen-White, 29, of Rockport, and Kristen Owen, 24, of Wyoming. 
“She loved reading and loved learning, and that’s what she taught us,” Owen-White said. 
The sisters recall their mom staying up late and waking up early to read — educational texts, mysteries, adventures books. She also enjoyed the outdoors, taking her children camping and traveling to national parks with her husband...
No book or movie offer for this Karen Owen. 

No NBC Today Show feature for a mother of two who fostered a love of reading and learning in her daughters.

Did this dedicated professional who spent her life improving the educational system in Houston garner even a hundredth of the attention that Duke University grad Karen Owen did last week?

I doubt it.

I am sure of one thing: I am happy to be discussing the life of a leader and loving parent in Karen Owen who passed away in 2009, rather than anyone else in the headlines who might share that name. 

18 comments:

Diana said...

I'm not even going google the other K.O. No, I don't know what you're talking about... nor do I care. Good for you for not even mentioning whatever it is.

Like you, I prefer to recognise an individual who was highly regarded. Her obituary was beautifully and intelligently written. Tis a sad thing to lose such a wonderful soul early in their life like that. But what a blessing that her life impacted so many others! \o/ My deepest sympathies to her family. May the memories comfort their hearts.

Hilary said...

Good for you for shining a light on this lady.

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

I can not believe publishers are knocking down the "f-list" writers door.

I'd rather have the other Karen Owen as a role model...

Diane said...

I have not heard about the other Karen but like your tribute to the namesake much better! :O)

Lydia Kang said...

I agree that I much prefer the tribute to the lady you've posted about.
Who cares about the other KO.

Mommy Lisa said...

Its terrible all the good people who go with little fanfare.

Shannon said...

The whole Karen Owen PowerPoint scandal was disheartening to hear about. I'm interested to see how things pan out, considering what happened at Rutgers University.

I hadn't heard about the book deals, but it doesn't surprise me. Sex and scandal sale.

Bleh.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

I must live under a rock because I don't know what you're talking about! Thanks for your kind comment this morning.

ladyfi said...

I'm not going to Google her either.

Expat From Hell said...

Yep, I'm with the others here. No googling for the Faux SO. Would rather reflect positively on your good posting, as well as know that the society in which we live still obsesses about the likes of Paris Hilton. Just leave me with the printed word, and a few well-selected blog postings. Like this one. EFH

nancycreative said...

I hadn't heard about either Karen Owen, but I'm glad you shared about the teacher Karen Owen--people like that are what we need to be hearing more about!

Abigail said...

I, too, do not know who Karen Owen is...the "in the news" one. I am glad that you shared about the other Karen Owen...the one who really IS newsworthy!

WomanHonorThyself said...

I am happy to be discussing the life of a leader and loving parent in Karen Owen who passed away in 2009, rather than anyone else in the headlines who might share that name. ..amen Slam and thank u for focusing on the blessings not the curses...Spot on.

Krista said...

I'm not going to google her either... but thanks for the kind tribute to the other KO! :o)

Momma Fargo said...

Rest in peace, Karen Owen...and thank you for helping children.

terri said...

Thank you for sharing this Karen Owen's story. I wish the media placed as much importance on sharing stories of the good people do as they do on sharing the most scandalous things they can dig up.

malone8 said...

It's like that old saying: No news is good news.

The media seems to have a problem putting the spotlight on the real heroes in our society.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. I find this whole story interesting. Karen Owen has sparked an interesting debate. I like your blog. I stumbled across this blog like I stumbled across yours. I found it interesting in its thoughts on Karen Owen: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/sexual-revolution-or-media-intrusion/

I’d love to see more like it. Thanks!

-Sheila