Karen Bonar

Karen (Mikols) Bonar grew up in Wichita, where she attended St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School and Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School. During high school, she was bit by the journalism bug, being one of the first in the school to work as both a staff photographer and reporter for the school’s newspaper. She attended the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism at Kansas State University and graduated with a bachelor’s. During college, Karen was a photojournalism intern at the Topeka Capital-Journal, Wichita Eagle and Hays Daily News, as well as for the K-State Collegian newspaper and Royal Purple yearbook. Upon college graduation, she became a staff photographer at the Independence (Kan.) Daily Reporter in southeast Kansas from 2003-05. During her tenure in southeast Kansas, Karen was an active member of St. Andrew Parish, assisting with CYO, the parish newsletter, choir, cantor and as a member of the quilting circle. She then transitioned to be a city/government/investigative reporter at the Hays Daily News from 2005-08. Karen received multiple awards for her writing at the Hays Daily, including: Honorable mention, Harris Newspaper Contest (2005, Business/Agriculture Reporting); Second Place, Kansas Press Association (2006, Agricultural Story); Best of Contest, Harris Newspaper Contest (2007, Newswriting); First Place, Harris Newspaper Contest (2007, Spot News); First Place, Kansas Press Association (2007, Investigative Story); Honorable mention, Harris Newspaper Contest (2007, Religion); and Honorable mention, Harris Newspaper Contest (2007, Spot News). During her time in Hays, she taught first and second grade PSR at St. Mary Church in Ellis. In 2008, Karen moved to Salina and worked as a freelance photographer. Clients include: The Register, The Kansas City Star, The Wichita Eagle, The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kansas Magazine, Guideposts Magazine (June 2017 cover story). In addition to journalism clients, Karen also photographed for corporate clients, including: St. Francis Community Services Foundation, The University of Kansas School of Medicine - Salina Campus, Kansas Wesleyan University, The Salina Community Theatre, The Salina Symphony, Mahaska, Sunflower Bank and Cooper Machinery Services. Karen is a member of St. Mary, Queen of the Universe, Parish, where she has served as a lector and cantor. In 2016, she was hired as editor of The Register. She was awarded three awards in 2020 from the Catholic Press Association: First Place, Best Front Page — Broadsheet; First Place, Best In-Depth News/Special Reporting (Diocesan Newspaper) for “Suicide Prevention Awareness Month”; and Second Place, Best In-Depth News/Special Reporting (Diocesan Newspaper) for “Cultivating Mental Health Awareness.”