News & Happenings
“Simply the Best”
Mark Keenum of Holmes High School is this year’s Educator of the Year for 2014. Mr. Keenum has been the lead ESL teacher at Holmes High School for 10 years and is now their ELL Transitional Coach. A dedicated and tireless teacher, Mark is often on campus by 6:30 am preparing for dozens of students who will arrive at his classroom before school seeking help with homework across all four content areas. The students will be helped by highly qualified native language tutors representing six different languages. Through networking and community outreach, Mark has recruited multilingual professionals to serve as native language tutors for a diverse refugee student population that is the largest in the district.
After school and on weekends, Mark visits the families of his students to inform and involve the parents of his ELL students in navigating the educational system and the necessary requirements for graduation. For students and families in need, he also delivers food from the San Antonio Food Bank loading 50-100 pounds of food in the back of his pickup truck to personally deliver to each family.
Mark is an asset to Holmes High School and to Northside ISD. He recently represented both at the Title III Symposium in Austin, Texas where he joined a panel of his former students as the keynote for this annual state conference. The students shared their stories of survival and overcoming the odds to graduate from high school with honors and scholarships to colleges and universities. The students credit the support they received from Mark Keenum and Holmes High School that enabled them to accomplish their dreams.
An avid runner and superior athlete, Mark embraces the principle that the only limits we have are those we impose upon ourselves. After leaving the campus at the end of a long day, he hits the trail at Government Canyon to run his daily ten miles as he prepares once again to compete in the annual 100-mile marathon in Leadville, Colorado.