Abby Doriani Karsten ’00

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 8.43.15 AMWhen Abby enrolled at Westminster during her sophomore year of high school, she had no idea that 15 years later she would be teaching at Westminster and managing its summer camp program Camp Westminster.

One of Abby’s most vivid memories as a Westminster student is the first Chapel she attended.

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She says, “Having come from six years of public school, Chapel was so different than anything I had experienced at school before. It made Westminster feel like a community—a group of people not just joined together by geography but by a bond of faith.” She also loved Spirit Week as a student and still enjoys it as a teacher today!

Abby is in her seventh year of teaching at Westminster. She has taught a variety of classes, including statistics, geometry, algebra II concepts, algebra 1, 8th grade French, and currently advanced math concepts and intro to economics. Abby very much enjoys working with high school students. She says, “They are funny, thoughtful, and creative, and I love getting to know them throughout the year.” Abby received a B.S. in Economics from Truman State University, so she is especially passionate about explaining the principles of economics and helping kids see the connections between their own lives and current events.

Abby completed her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Covenant College in 2012. While completing her final year of graduate work at Covenant, Abby received the challenge from Mr. Marsh to revamp Westminster’s summer camp program. Her graduate school assignment was actually to create a strategic plan template, but Mr. Marsh shared with her his vision for a completely new, robust summer camp program, utilizing Westminster’s new campus and abundant facilities. So Abby began an intense research phase to identify the recurring elements found in the most excellent camps and worked to create a family-friendly camp structure that allows families to choose specific camps and dates according to their interests and scheduling needs. With much research, hard work, and many enthusiastic camp instructors, Camp Westminster was born! In its first year, Camp Westminster’s enrollment doubled from Westminster’s previous summer camp program.

Camp Westminster offers a variety of half- and full-day camps for boys and girls in grades K-8 during the month of June. The staff includes dedicated and enthusiastic Westminster teachers, coaches, and athletes who help campers strengthen their God-given skills. Abby says, “It’s so rewarding to see so many kids on campus during the summer! The teachers and coaches that run the camps are invaluable. The kids have smiles on their faces all day long, and they go home tired and happy! Kids in elementary and middle school get to know teachers and coaches that they will one day have if they come to Westminster, and middle school students entering Westminster in the fall make new friends before school even begins!”

Abby and her husband of four years Dave met on a coed ultimate Frisbee team based in Iowa. They have continued to compete on ultimate Frisbee teams every year since they met, but Abby is taking this year off as she and Dave prepare to welcome their first child in September! Abby and Dave are members of Central Presbyterian Church in Clayton, where Abby’s father is the senior pastor.