The Ottumwa Courier

April 29, 2014

Keefer hired as KHS Assistant Principal

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — Trenton Keefer has been hired as Knoxville High School's Assistant Principal for the 2014-15 school year. 

This will be Keefer's first full-time school administration position. Currently, he serves as a part-time administrator and language arts teacher in Mount Pleasant. He is the principal of the district's Alternative High School and has served as a substitute principal. 

Originally from Northwest Iowa, Keefer earned a Master of Science, PK-12 Administration from Wayne State College. He has seven years of coaching experience and several years of teaching experience. 

Keefer's initial interest in Knoxville was for the high school principal position. He was passed over for that job in favor of Tracy Wilkins. 

Currently, Knoxville High School's administration includes a principal and three deans. This is the first year for this set-up. 

At a recent board meeting, incoming Superintendent Cassi Murra discussed with board members the potential for going back to the assistant principal format. More discussion regarding this was expected to take place at Monday night's meeting.

In the interim, one of the deans, Ashlee Duimstra, accepted a position at Des Moines East. Duimstra's resignation was accepted Monday night. 

One of the other deans, Ryan Klein, has already been hired to serve as the Assistant Middle School Principal for the coming year. Assistant KMS Principal Linda Abbott is transferring to replace retiring Mike Montgomery as the West Elementary Principal next year. With these changes, that left only one dean, Carolyn Jones, at the high school. 

Board Vice President Mike Helle said that, instead of hiring two deans, it was easier to go back to the assistant principal format, at least for the coming year. That also met the wishes of Murra and Wilkins. Keefer was among the few qualified individuals, already interviewed, that could come in and fill the role of assistant principal. 

Keefer is eager to begin working to Knoxville because of the great things he has heard about the community. After his interview, and having the opportunity to meet local residents, he became more interested in joining KHS. 

Married to a business teacher, Kelly, Keefer is the father of four children, ranging from fifth grade to three years old. The couple have several family members in Central Iowa, which led them to look for work in the area. 

Education is an area that has always interested Keefer. He enjoys learning, working with children, athletics and other aspects of the field. 

The true highlight of education, for him, has been those moments when he knows he's made a difference in a student's life. He shared a story about a former student who specifically thanked him for being tough on her, and for what he taught, because his actions made one of her college courses easier. 

Keefer describes himself as "family-oriented." He and his family enjoy being active in the outdoors. He is excited to become a part of the Knoxville community, and continue his activity in the community, church and youth sports. 

Keefer's salary will be $82,500 for the coming year, plus benefits. Murra has recommended the board reimburse his moving expenses, up to $3,000, if he chooses to live in the Knoxville School District. Keefer is unsure of where his family will settle at this time.