South Hills Community News Release
STATE COLLEGE — South Hills Alumna and United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, Karen P. Kramer, recently visited South Hills School of Business & Technology to give a motivational speech to students, faculty, and staff about her life journey and provide her keys to success.
Karen is originally from State College and graduated from South Hills in 1983. As a teen, she was faced with many adversities but credited the faculty and the time she spent at South Hills in helping her to turn herself around to lead her down a path of long-term success.
She shared one of her favorite quotes from author and motivational speaker, Jay Danzie:
Beginning each day with a smile is a priority to Karen, and she believes that first impressions are vital. She asked those in attendance to consider their impact on others and to think about the impression they would like to make.
Flexibility, resilience, and the ability to adapt to constant change are three traits that Karen feels are essential for everyone to develop. She discussed the importance of speaking with leaders for advice, feedback, and criticism to leverage their expertise and knowledge in order to learn and grow. Karen also stressed that team work plays a huge role in being successful as it is crucial to an individual’s success, a team’s success, and a company’s success.
Some of Karen’s first successes occurred while at South Hills, and she shared some of the things that motivated her while she was a student: someday owning a sports car and having her own money. She was proud to have graduated and been able to achieve those things, and she signified the importance of setting goals and doing whatever you can to achieve those goals.
Karen began her Air Force career when she enlisted in 1984. She spent 10 years on active duty as an F-15 maintenance scheduler. Today, Lieutenant Colonel Kramer is the Public Health Flight Commander, 88th Aerospace Medicine Squadron (AMDS), Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.