Former Students Raise Thousands of Dollars to Fulfill a Retired Teacher’s Dream
FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – A retired group principal with Fort Wayne Community Schools will be making the trip of a lifetime next year thanks to his alumni.
Kevin Klee started his teaching career 40 years ago at Monroe Central near Muncie, then spent 5 years at Northrop High School before spending his final 33 years as a group principal at Snider High School. He gives harmony and orchestra lessons.
A surprise retirement party was held in a Facebook group that has hundreds of former Klee students.
Klee, known for his iconic Hawaiian shirts, said it was heartbreaking to see so many people wish him luck after spending so much time on music education.
“Music is my passion and my mom was a kindergarten teacher,” Klee said. “I saw the impact she had on the lives of her students and I just felt it was a way of giving back to society a little and doing something that I loved at the same time . “
Bearing witness to the impact Klee has had on Snider students over the years, former students around the world have donated approximately $ 17.00 to help send Klees and his wife to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux. , in Switzerland, next summer, a dream of Klee since he was a high school student.
Klee’s daughter Kelly Alter, who has also been a student in his classes, said she was not surprised to see so much support for her father because of the type of class he has fostered over the years. .
“He’s everyone’s dad,” Alter said. “Just the fact that he created a family atmosphere. For most of us, teenagers are hard to deal with and it brought us together, where we can interact in a safe environment, have fun and play music, and truly grow as friends.
As he retires, Klee said his advice to teachers is to continue.
“Hang in there, don’t give up,” Klee said. “It’s a very difficult job. It is very difficult, but the rewards are very great. So hang in there. “