Jeffrey Keeney was selected as the new Principal of Whittier Elementary School. Mr. Keeney is beginning his 18th year in education; he was a teacher for seven years and a principal for 11. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education at Arizona State University and his Master’s in Education Management at University of Laverne.
Mr. Keeney’s goal is build positive relationship with students and staff alike. He hopes to build upon the family atmosphere and create a culture where students are excited to come to school each day. He said he will be visible on campus so he can provide extra support to staff and be a part of the student’s educational journey.
Mr. Keeney said he is excited about the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) programs. This is the first year the district has brought the AVID program to the elementary level. Eight of the elementary schools are implementing the program this year. Mr. Keeney said he is excited to get the students thinking about their future. “It’s never too early to start thinking about colleges and careers,” said Keeney. PBIS is another program staff is excited about, said Keeney. The unique program benefits not only students but staff as well. It provides clear and concise behavioral expectations for students and resources for staff to ensure their students are being supported.
Keeney said he was led into the education field based on his experience as a high school football and baseball coach. He was able to build relationships with the student-athletes and emphasize the importance of a good education. He realized that when students reached high school it was harder to stress the importance of education, because students had already chosen their path. At this point he realized his importance of teaching at an elementary level. His entire career he has stayed at an elementary level to ensure he was reaching students at the earliest point possible and start setting them on a path to success.
Keeney said he was extremely grateful to the staff, students, and families at Whittier for welcoming him during his transition. He was happy to be brought into a positive school climate and hopes he can return the favor by helping his students and staff succeed.