Student Nomination Story

I'm not quite sure where to start in sharing about Mr. McKeever. I guess I would say he must be pretty impressive because he hasn't taught me for roughly 8 years and he was the first person that popped into my head when I heard about this. Never in my life have I had a teacher that was so passionate about their subject content and so committed to bringing it to life, like Mr. McKeever did and still does. There isn't much I remember learning in high school, but I can tell you what, I can still tell you about the time Napoleon tried to treck his army through Russian winter, how King Henry VIII had 6 wives and was adament to have a son, and why trenches were utilized in WWI. I work in marketing. I haven't taken a history course in 5+ years, but I remember all of this. Do you know why? Mr. McKeever taught us about Napoleon's Russian escapade by marching us through the hallways as if we were soldiers, tossing fake food or snowballs at us so if we got hit, we would represent the soldiers who died of cold and starvation. He taught us about trench warfare by having us lay our desks on the floor, dividing us into sides, having us crouch behind our desks with tiny erasers as "bullets" to give us a glimpse of how terrifying the trenches were and how vulnerable the soldiers were. When I went to college, I met a lot of people who were misled by their history books, but Mr. McKeever taught us the truth, even when it was hard. It's crucial to know about the past in order to move forward with the future and he took it upon himself to do just that. Whether it be heartbreaking stories of Hiroshima or Japanese internment camps that were HERE in the U.S., he was honest while still being compassionate. Mr. McKeever makes it his mission to bring history to life through games, reinactments and making up songs. His passion is contagious and his knowledge seems unending. However, more importantly, the students trust him. When I was in school, he spoke to us with respect and honesty. He was always down to joke, but also to listen and offer support. His dedication to his students is reflected in how he continues to do more and more for them each year. As if teaching multiple history courses to multiple grades wasn't enough, he also serves as moderator for Spirit Club, Mock Trial Club, Youth and Government, and the Viz Gamers. He's involved in student government and coaches track and cross country. He worked a second job in retail so he could teach us, lead us and pursue his passion for teaching. High school girls aren't easy, but he was ever-patient, compassionate and sensitive to their problems. I always felt like he really saw me and believed in me. He made me feel like I could do anything. Like I was important. I am forever grateful and honored to have been taught by him. A teacher like him is a rare find and he is so deserving of this recognition and some time to take for himself. I hope the current students at Viz know how truly lucky they are to know him.

Sally Boone

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.