Congratulations to Courtney O'Keefe, who was elected Faculty of the Month by the entire student body at KMS. Courtney is the Social Studies Department Chair, and is beloved by her students and colleagues alike.
Senior Sydney Bennett delivered the award to Courtney at Wednesday's all-school meeting with a touching and heart-warming speech, "This recipient of the Faculty of the Month award is just a beam of light. When you see her in the hallway, she always says hi and asks how you’re doing. When she’s gone, her presence is missed. She works incredibly hard to prepare coursework. She has assignments lined up for months ahead, and has a specific plan for each and every class period. Also, her classes aren’t just lectures; they’re discussions, where she presents thought-provoking questions that really make her students think. She is impeccable with scheduling and makes sure that the class is on pace. She’s always ready to teach, and there has never been a time when I have showed up to class and she wasn’t ready to go with an agenda on the board, and an assignment on hand."
Sydney continued, "In addition to having a plan for every class, she is also incredibly understanding. When students are away on trips, she helps orient them with deadlines so that they don’t fall too far behind. If students in her class have a heavy course load she will give a work day to catch up. If a student’s homework is late, she will still help. Most importantly, she gives her students the benefit of the doubt. Additionally, Courtney is the first 24/7 teacher I have ever had. She is always on Google Hangouts, willing to answer any question at any time. All in all, all the students I spoke with told me that she was the hardest-working teacher they have ever had. She expects a lot out of her students, and truly challenges them to make them better prepared for the future. She also understands that students have expectations of her, and she fulfills these by grading assignments on time, reviewing every student’s assignments, and leaving comments and suggestions. Imagine grading the same question responses for five students that are at least five pages long each? She does this and leaves suggestions, which is awesome feedback that allows students to continually improve. She really just goes above and beyond. I asked her recently for help with college applications and scholarship applications, and she has been extremely helpful with the dozen or so letters of recommendation I needed for these scholarships. And it’s not just the students she goes above and beyond for, but it’s the faculty as well. She really works to create a positive environment among teachers and her fellow department members to foster learning. She celebrates her fellow teacher’s successes and hard work by throwing department parties and sending supportive messages. This, and all the other reasons I shared above, is why I’m glad to announce the faculty of the month, is Courtney O’Keefe."
Congratulations to an incredibly committed, passionate, caring, and talented teacher on a well-deserved honor!