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Karen Kelbly Cole
Why have you chosen to serve on the AACS Board of Directors?

“Knowing God and gaining His heart for the world” – As parents, educators, the body of Christ – if we can ignite a fire in our children for this pursuit, we will have achieved much. Serving on the AACS Board of Directors affords me the opportunity to contribute to this goal. Our two, now grown daughters attended AACS, K-12, and reaped the benefits of a Christian education. We are forever grateful to God for his generosity to us. It is my prayer that together we may preserve this education option informed by a Christian worldview for future generations.

What do you do when you're not at AACS?

I recently retired after many years in the federal government serving credit unions in an accounting and auditing policy role with the federal regulator and insurer of credit unions. Retirement has afforded me time to pursue a variety of interests. I have participated on several church visitation opportunities with seniors in our community. I attend several Bible study focused meetings throughout the week. I have greater opportunities to pursue wellness. I assist my siblings in the financial oversight of a parent. And I have enjoyed serving AACS these last several years on the Board and certain Board committees.

Tell us about your family.

Apart from God’s gift of salvation, my family is God’s greatest blessing to me. Mark and I have been married for over twenty-eight years and have two grown daughters, AACS alumni. We enjoy time together in and around our home, as well as travel to visit extended family throughout the year. Mark and his brother own a residential and commercial excavation company serving contractors and homeowners in Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore.

Where did you grow up?


I grew up in rural northeastern Ohio in an area rich in agriculture and known for its dairy farming community. I was one of five children, and lived near both sets of grandparents. Extended family and the local church provided a sense of community and a social network that was rich. I came to know God at a small country church where the Bible was taught, and God was worshipped.

Describe a perfect Saturday morning.

I'm sitting in the sunroom of a cabin by a lake, lingering over breakfast and coffee with my husband Mark as we share our lives and hearts. Mark heads out in his boat to fish, and our daughters and I take a leisurely bike ride exploring local roads and bicycle paths. After our ride, what could be better than a family dip in the lake? Sweet Saturday morning.

What's one of your favorite Bible passages and why?


Whenever I read Philippians 2:3-11, I am convicted and humbled and reminded anew of the Gospel.

"Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

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