The Regional Center for Teaching and Learning at Morningside College presented the national Alumni Educator of the Year and the Siouxland Alumni Teacher of the Year awards at a special banquet held in their honor on Wednesday evening, March 28, in the Yockey Family Community Room of the Olsen Student Center.
Morningside alumnus Dr. Dan Keast, assistant professor of music education at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) in Odessa, was recognized as the 2007 Alumni Educator of the Year. The recipient of the Siouxland Alumni Teacher of the Year award was presented to Janet Young, mathematics teacher at West High School in Sioux City.
Morningside College President John Reynders and Dr. William Deeds, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the college, presented the awards. Nancy Mounts, director of the Regional Center for Teaching and Learning, and Joan Nielsen, assistant professor and interim chair of the education department at Morningside, offered remarks. Keast also addressed the audience.
To be considered for the awards, candidates must exemplify the qualities of an effective educator, have made a significant contribution to the field of education, and have had a positive impact on students and their families.
Keast (right, with President Reynders) received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Morningside in 1996. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in music education from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). He served as instrumental music teacher and director of bands for the Wakefield Public Schools in Nebraska from 1996 to 1999. While attending MU, Keast worked with several ensembles including MU’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, which performed at the Sydney Opera House in Australia in 2000, and the Marching Mizzou, which performed in George W. Bush’s 2001 inaugural parade. He also taught at the Columbia Public Schools, MU’s School of Music, and guest lectured in MU’s College of Education.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities at UTPB, Keast serves as area coordinator of music. During his tenure, he has secured nearly $75,000 in grants, increased course offerings from three to 19 courses, created three new academic performing ensembles, achieved teacher certification, created a music minor, and lobbied for the inclusion of music in the humanities major. He has received several awards and grants for his extensive research in music education and has presented his research for publication in several professional journals and at numerous state, national, and international conferences. He has served as adjudicator, clinician, and guest lecturer for music festivals and special events in Iowa, Missouri, and Texas.
Keast is a member of several professional organizations including The National Association for Music Education (MENC), the Society for Research in Music Education, the International Society for Music Education, to name a few. His civic involvements include serving as advisor for the Catholic Student Association and the Collegiate MENC chapter at UTPB and as board member for the West Texas Jazz Society and the Allegro Chorale and Orchestra.
Young (below, with President Reynders) attended Yankton College in Yankton, S.D. from 1975 to 1977 before transferring to Morningside, where she was a member of the women’s volleyball team. She received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Morningside in 1979 and went on to earn a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of South Dakota in 1984.
She served as mathematics teacher for Jefferson High School in South Dakota from 1979 until 1987, where she also coached basketball, track, and volleyball. She began teaching at West High School in 1987, where she also served as student council advisor, Best Buddies advisor, and volleyball coach.
Young’s professional and civic involvements include membership in the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics, the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Phi Delta Kappa, advisory board member for the Iowa Association of Student Councils, and as a member of the executive board for the National Association of Student Councils. She was a winner of the 1994 Women of Excellence Awards and received the Outstanding Young American Award in 1997.
Alumni nominees from other school districts included:
Sioux City: Cara Kern, Ken Stueve, and Carolyn Stuhr, Sioux City Community School District.
Iowa: Patricia Brouillette, Molly Craig, and Lois Moser, Maple Valley; Ryan Dumkrieger, Lawton-Bronson Community School District.
Nebraska: Denise Griebel and Nicholas Kleve, South Sioux City Community Schools; Sarah Lieber, Homer.
The Regional Center for Teaching and Learning at Morningside College was founded by the college in 2001 and works collaboratively with other institutions and agencies to improve education in the tri-state region.