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More Letters: Former student, now parent salutes Ken Keener


In the past year, I’ve cleaned out some old boxes. In one I found my geometry notes from high school. It wasn’t the first time I’ve run across them. I just never have had the heart to part with them. In another box I found my varsity letter, my Central District Indoors Track Meet medal and other school memorabilia. I showed them to my kids and they thought they were pretty cool albeit a little musty after almost 23 years.

Ken Keener was my favorite teacher in high school. He was also my favorite and only coach. Ken had the dubious honor of trying to teach me algebra and geometry. You see math was far from my favorite subject in high school. I struggled with math all my school years until I entered Ken Keener’s classroom. He also had the dubious honor of coaching a failed cross-country runner in the Fall to a successful distance runner in track, in Spring. He did this all my senior year of high school for a girl who had never run a race before that year. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Ken Keener made me realize that I could achieve things I thought beyond my grasp before I knew him. He made me understand that if I worked hard and consistently that I could succeed. The ripple effects of what he sowed into my life then are still in evidence in my daily life now.

His impact is also generational. My daughter Alexandria has been blessed to have Ken Keener as a coach and teacher as well. Math is her favorite subject and I can’t think of a finer teacher for her to have and to encourage her than Ken Keener. He has helped coach her into a successful distance runner.

If Ken is reading this or gets wind of this he would be embarrassed. He has always been a very humble man. His daily example of hard work and honesty is priceless. He has always helped me see the good side of bad situations. His ability to teach is beyond compare and comes from years of experience and learning.

A few days ago, I heard for certain that Ken Keener was retiring from our school district. I hung up the phone, went in another room and cried. Ridiculous? Maybe. But it feels like such a loss. My trust is in our superintendent and school board that they will do anything possible to keep Ken Keener an active part of this school district. His kind are few and far between and his positive influence has value beyond words.

Dina Reasoner Millersport Laker Class of 1984

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