As a apprentice at Pinckneyville Association Aerial Academy in the 1980s, Keith Hagene anticipation he knew breadth activity was activity to booty him.
“I absolutely anticipation I would aloof chase the acceptable route. I would either go out into the agency or I would go to the mines like legions had afore me and I hadn’t accustomed it abundant thought,” he said.
That is until a adumbrative of the architectonics affairs at Rend Lake Academy was on the aerial academy campus recruiting new acceptance and talking with PCHS adroitness affiliate Glen Hamilton who accomplished drafting and added automated classes.
“I was walking through the alley as the adumbrative asked if there was anyone abroad that bare to assurance up. Glen acicular at me and said, ‘He needs to go.’ I asked him what I was accomplishing and he told me I was activity to school,” Hagene said.
Little did he apperceive that he would not be activity to the branch or to the mines, but he would, in essence, be activity to academy every day for the blow of his life.
Today, Hagene is administrator of his alma mater, breadth he additionally served as principal.
“This is starting my tenth year actuality and I’m still in shock,” he said.
His aisle to educational administering has been unconventional. Hagene did accept at Rend Lake, finishing the affairs afore enrolling at Southeast Missouri State University breadth he becoming a amount in automated technology and education.
“Because of the acclaim alteration situation, I was a December alum and I confused aback home to the acreage arctic of boondocks actuality and started accounting up belletrist of absorption and résumés to be an automated arts teacher,” he recalled.
He says he began substituting at Trico Aerial Academy and was anon assassin as the automated arts teacher. Hagene was architecture a acceptability as an innovator in tech prep — the alliance of amount academics and abstruse areas of study, teaching the aforementioned agreeable breadth as Hamilton, who’s feel pointing put Hagene on his own career path.
A few years later, he accustomed a position at Nashville Aerial School, breadth he was able to use the assets of Washington County industry and was accustomed abandon to adapt the automated arts affairs about he saw fit.
“I was adored for 17 years to be allotment of one of the best automated tech programs around,” he said. “We were able to do aggregate from computer-aided architecture to robotics and claret cutters. We were able to actor industry.”
He additionally began teaching some courses at Kaskaskia College.
“During this time, I got a gnawing that there was article abroad I bare to do and I bethink cogent my dad that I had to go aback to college, but I wasn’t absolutely abiding why,” he recalled. “I told him, ‘I’ve got to become a principal.’”
Returning to the classroom as a apprentice for the aboriginal time in 17 years, he becoming his master’s amount while teaching in Nashville and active his own baby architecture company.
“The about-face of contest that abundant was that I was alive on my administrator affidavit and aback you do acreage experience, you usually get arrive into alive with your own superintendent,” he said, answer that aback he was admiral of the teacher’s union, alive with the administrator at Nashville was not an option. The band-aid was to assignment with the Pinckneyville administrator during the summer.
“Ironically, they had me assignment with the architects on the planning for the cast new academy architecture they were cerebration about,” he recalled.
Fast advanced to 2009, and Hagene was assassin as the arch at Pinckneyville, answerable with continuing efforts against a new building. He approached the bearings from a actual different perspective — that of an alum and as the ancestor of a aerial academy student. He had to argue abounding in the association that the old building, congenital in the 1930s, had appear to the end of its account and it was time for a new building.
“We accepted the history and pulled pieces off of that old architecture and chip them into little accents in this structure,” he explained.
Hagene embraces his own history, too, and says his accomplishments as a abstruse abecedary helps him in his role as superintendent.
“I anticipate it has served me able-bodied in that I ‘get’ all kids,” he explained.
He ‘gets’ the community, too. He’s complex in what he calls “tons” of borough causes and organizations and currently serves as the admiral of the Foundation for the Future of Pinckneyville.
“I anticipate I accept to accord aback to the association that has entrusted their accouchement to me,” he said. “I feel like you accept to be visible, you accept to be accessible, you accept to booty affliction of kids and you accept got to help.”
He knows that sometimes that agency pointing acceptance in the appropriate direction. Aloof like Glen Hamilton did for him in the alley of Pinckneyville Association Aerial School.
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