Frontier High School Special Education teacher, Kurt Keckley, was named one of three Teachers of the Year finalists. Keckley is now eligible to apply for the California Teacher of the Year program.
Keckley has been a special education teacher for the Kern High School District for 22 years. His life's work in education has centered around closing the achievement gap for students with disabilities, setting goals beyond graduation, and preparing them for a successful adult life. He believes the foundation of educational success is built on a disciplined classroom with mutual respect between teacher and students.
Outside of the classroom, Keckley established and continues to run clubs that reach underserved youth through the TITAN gaming club and Frontier's Esports team.
In 2011, Keckley began designing a game to teach about the First World War called "Fields of Despair." The game was published in 2017. In 2018, the United States Military Academy West Point professor, Lt. Col. Channing Greene, reached out to Keckley about using his game as an instructional tool for a course he was teaching at West Point. They collaborated on lesson design and implementation. The lessons were so successful at grabbing and keeping the cadets' attention that Lt. Col. Greene was asked to present about their work together at a military conference. Keckley never imagined his teaching career would lead him to work on lessons for West Point, and for this project, Lt. Col. Greene has expressed his appreciation to Keckley for "this extraordinary contribution to the teaching profession and to his country."
We want to congratulate the following 2022 Teachers of the Year honorees:
Mary Bradford, North High School
Linda Brown, Liberty High School
Sharon Brown, Regional Occupational Center
Nicole Castro, Foothill High School
Joseph Gonzalez, South High School
John Hansen, Golden Valley High School
Suzy Iturriria-Alexander, Centennial High School
Angela Jenkins, West High School
Summer Kirby, Kern Valley High School
Astrid Montano, Bakersfield High School
William Parviainen, Independence High School
Kristin Ramay, Mira Monte High School
Mathew Regpala, Arvin High School
Jill Reynolds, Stockdale High School
Kristin Savage, Highland High School
Nicole Starr, Ridgeview High School
Joe Turner, Bakersfield Adult School
Brad Verrell, East Bakersfield High School
John Wiebe, Shafter High School