Carolyn grew up with her two younger brothers on a farm in Oklahoma. Her mother worked at home and her father was a school superintendent, so it was natural for Carolyn to become a teacher. She taught for two year in Texas and one in Oklahoma before moving to Marion, Kansas to teach high school English. Carolyn moved to Baldwin City to teach at Baldwin High School in 1973. She said "I thought I'd stay a couple of years...", but fortunately for Baldwin City and the Lumberyard, it has now been forty-three.
Carolyn loves music, playing piano, reading, Book Club and traveling, especially to the beach. Since retirement from teaching, she volunteers for the Lumberyard Arts Center, the Baldwin City Library and serves on many committees at the Baldwin First United Methodist Church. She also spends some time supervising Restricted License teachers for Baker University.