Dr. Keith M. Bell Sr. Inducted 2007 - Class of 1974
Keith grew up on Stickney Avenue, attended Spring School through eighth grade, and is one of four sons of Ora and Norman Bell, Sr. His stepsister is Norma. Both of Keith's parents were the ultimate in role models for their family. They taught the value of education along with the special importance of people skills. Keith's life exemplifies those qualities. Keith's brothers are Norman, Jr. , who is here tonight from Georgia; retired Toledo Fire Chief (and newly appointed Ohio Fire Marshall and WHS Hall of Fame member) Mike Bell ; and the late Shawn Bell.
At Woodward, Keith recalls two teachers who had an impact on his life: Mr. Jim Knierim and Miss Tina Twining (now Mrs. Moffat). Keith clearly remembers Mr. Knierim saying to him, "lose some weight and you can play [basketball] next year." That statement changed Keith's entire life!
Keith remembers Miss Twining's (now Mrs. Moffat) business class, which directed him toward his ultimate career of education. Mrs. Moffat recalls: "Keith was a memorable student. He was such a
pleasure to have in class, always exhibiting that he wanted to do his very best. He possessed that very special quality that you just knew he was going to be a huge success in life. His personality and people skills, along with his academic achievement and desire to compete in athletics, would take Keith to high achievements." And they did!
At Woodward, Keith played football and basketball his freshman year. In his sophomore year, he added track to those sports. In his junior and senior years, he was dedicated to his favorite sport, basketball. He was in the Band all four years.
Keith has spent most of his life in school. After graduation from Woodward, Keith went to Defiance College, where he majored in Business Education, and was named to the Honors List and Dean's List. He went on to BGSU, where he received his Master's Degree in the same field. Since then, he has pursued further education at OSU, receiving his Educational Administration Certification, and will complete his Superintendent Licensure this June.
His career in education began by teaching marketing education and coaching basketball at Grove City Schools from 1979 to 1993. From there, Keith began his administrative career at Lincoln H.S., where he was Assistant Principal for seven years. He was then Principal at Groveport Madison H. S. for four years.
Keith's coaching accomplishments are many. His teams were sectional champions for two years, and district qualifiers for two years. He was nominated for District 10 Coach of the Year for two years, was the District 10 All-Star Coach in 1991, and was featured on CBS's Forty Eight Hours in 1989.
Keith has been a presenter at numerous conferences. He has been the subject of several newspaper articles, and has been featured on a number of television programs. Now principal of Westerville South High School, Keith is well known for being an innovative, successful educator who has forged strong business and community ties with his schools (past and present). Keith has a long list of accomplishments, including the positive reinforcement programs he has created that are widely acclaimed throughout the area. He has attended numerous programs, including one at Harvard . He has been appointed to many task forces, including statewide boards. He has appeared on a number of televised programs. He is sought out as a motivational speaker who can connect with people from all walks of life. Keith instituted the Josten's Renaissance Program (rewarding academic excellence) at Gahana Lincoln H.S. and worked very closely with the student body to make this program a huge success. A highlight of his career was being inducted into the prestigious Josten's Renaissance Hall of Fame in 1999. This award is based on the success, among other factors, of their program’s growth and its impact on the community. Norman, Jr. says of his brother, "he is the definition of excellence in education."
Some of Keith's community involvement includes Caring and Sharing Westerville, which supports families during the holiday season; serving as Assistant Superintendent at his church’s Sunday School and participating in church outreach programs; and being very involved with the academic and extracurricular support at his schools. After receiving Defiance College's Alumni Achievement Award in 2002, he was appointed to its Board of Trustees in 2004.
Keith felt shocked when he was informed about his induction. He says the significance, for him, is that the nomination came from his brother, Norman, Jr. He also feels really good for his parents, who have been the physical foundation for all that he has done. Keith and his wife of 22 years, Toni, spend much time supporting their two sons' activities at Gahana Lincoln H.S., where Toni also teaches. Their older son is Keith, Jr., a senior, and their younger son, Joshua, is a sophomore-both are great students!
In addition to being extremely proud of his family, he is also proud to have been a part of significantly improving student achievement at his schools. With all Keith has to offer, he has made a huge impact in so many students' lives. What better reward in life can an educator enjoy? Congratulations, Keith! Your achievement grade is an A+!