Award Honorees

Bill Keeler

Bill Keeler taught science at Minnetonka’s middle and high schools from the late 1950s to the early 1990s. He made it his highest priority to cultivate his students’ curiosity and encourage them to pursue their own individual interests. Kind, dedicated and understanding, Mr. Keeler is still remembered by many of his students even decades after their graduation.

“There aren't many teachers I remember as well as I do Mr. Keeler,” shared Karen (Nelson) Olson '71, a former student. “He was kind, funny, and he bubbled with the excitement of learning and science. Somehow this 7th grade science teacher convinced 20 to 25 students to come to school on Saturdays—and it turned out to be a lot of fun!”

For many students, these Saturday school sessions were an extra opportunity to work on their science projects and gain insight from Mr. Keeler. Whether it be inside or outside the classroom, he also made an effort to form deep, meaningful connections with all his students. Taking advantage of every opportunity, he would volunteer at school events as much as possible.

“It was important to me for students to know me not only as a teacher, but as a friend,” said Mr. Keeler.

In class, Mr. Keeler filled his lessons with fascinating scientific information and made sure to tailor to each students’ individual learning styles. He acknowledged  that not all students learn best the same way, and made sure to consistently check in with each student to ensure they were able to understand the course content.

“Keeping the attention of students is one of the most difficult challenges in teaching,” said Mr. Keeler.

After graduating, many of Mr. Keeler’s students pursued careers in science or research-related fields due to Bill’s inspirational teaching and encouragement.

“We could see that he worked very hard, harder than we did, and that he cared about our success,” said Olson. “In turn, he instilled in me a love of learning and the thrill of the hunt in doing research. I brought those along with me during my 39-year career at University of Minnesota Libraries. The love of research has stayed with me.”



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David Gartner

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 23, 2023.

Earl Christ

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 23, 2023.

Bill Keeler

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on September 24, 2022.