Golden Apple: Beatrice teacher making history in room 226

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - When you look back on teachers who inspired you, it may not be the material they knew, but rather how they related to you. Maybe it was how they helped you grow as a person. And that’s exactly what our 10/11 Golden Apple winner for April is doing: teaching history and making it come alive in room 226.

It’s been said, “while we read history, we make history.” And history teacher Mr. Jeff Kezeor is doing more than just turning the pages, he’s inspiring.

Jason Sutter is the Beatrice High School principal. Sutter said that Mr. Kezeor is an active listener. He attends his students’ activities and he helps each student grow as a person, to make their own history.

This native of St. Paul, Nebraska started his teaching career at Weeping Water, then Omaha Bryan and now he calls the Beatrice Orangemen home.

Sophomore Colton McGill nominated Mr. Kezeor for the award.

“Mr. Kezeor brings a great energy to history and to study hall,” McGill said. “He’s very interactive with the students. He’s a great person, and he definitely has an impact on all of the students here I think, not just to be better people, but to go out and make a difference.”

Senior Kaiden Thomas said that Mr. Kezeor even makes study hall fun!

“I would say he’s a pretty interactive teacher,” Thomas said. “He’s super helpful and useful. The time I’ve been in here is super enjoyable.”

Mr. Kezeor just relates to his students. He combines history and humor and feeds off his students’ energy. He often says: No drama in 226!

“That’s just my silly little thing I tell the kids when they come up on day one, but it’s funny how it stays with them through the years,” Kezeor said.

Of course, teachers want their students to learn and find that passion about a subject like history. But becoming a truly memorable teacher goes a step further.

Kezeor said, “I think the biggest thing that I get from teaching is just the relationship building with the kids, and seeing them grow into young adults and seeing the excitement of them when they are learning things.”

Kyle Kolm is Jeff Kezeor’s friend, and he also teaches history right next door.

“The biggest thing with Jeff, Mr. Kezeor, is he puts others first,” Kolm said. “He’s always willing to help out, serves on numerous committees, coaches a lot of extra curricular activities at the high school, and he really puts an emphasis on building relationships.”

Principal Jason Sutter has seen how Mr. Kezeor takes time, his own time to get to know his students.

“They know he’s an active listener,” said Sutter. “He is somebody they can talk to, not just about history, but about life in general, and they are going to get some good advice. He’s a solid person.”

Sometimes just being recognized for doing a good job, a solid job can mean the world to a teacher inspiring the future by teaching history in room 226. No drama... just making history.

The 10/11 Golden Apple award is sponsored by Doane University College of Education.

Doane University College of Education
Doane University College of Education(Doane University College of Education)

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