Karma Sanders ends 19 years as principal in Big Horn County School District One

Karma Sanders was raised in Byron. She attended Northwest Community College for two years and transferred to Brigham Young University to complete her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She continued her education at Kansas State University, earning a master’s degree in administration.

Sanders taught fifth grade for six years at LaCrosse Elementary in Kansas. It is a prerequisite to teach before becoming a principal. She began her career as the K-5 principal at LaCrosse, which she held for seven years before going to the middle school for one year.

She went to work for Big Horn County School District One in 2001 as the middle school principal at Deaver. After two years in the position the district added the elementary school to her responsibilities for two more years. In 2005 when the elementary moved to Cowley, Sanders became solely the elementary principal. 

Sanders enjoys the principal position more than teaching, but said “it all brings different things to learn and different challenges,” adding, “It has been most rewarding working with good people – good teachers and good students. I have lots of memories.

“It’s been a great experience, and I will miss working with all the people. I’ll have to adjust. There will be new experiences and new challenges that I am looking forward to.”

Principal Sanders shared her opinion on the effects of the school closure due to the coronavirus situation.

“First of all, I’m very sad it happened. To end the year this way has been difficult,” she said. “Remote teaching is not a great way to teach students. So much happens in the classroom, the stimulation, the questions. There’s not been as much learning in spite of all the efforts of parents and teachers.

“We, as humans, need personal contact. By the time school starts again we will have been out for six months. That’s a long time to be out of the classroom. We know students lose some ground just during the summer. I hope it weighs quite heavily that remote learning is not the best way to teach kids. If we continue educating in a virtual world via technology I am afraid that we will have students that are lacking in not only academic skills but in social and emotional skills. That’s my opinion,” she expressed.

Winding up 27 years serving as a principal, Sanders has no definite plans.

“It depends on what happens in the world. I’ll be doing what I’ve not been able to do, but I’m not sure as to future plans,” she said.