1+1 Giveaway: Alexander Keen gets young students excited about physical education and fitness


Mr Keen And His Students Preparing For ClassRAPID CITY, S.D.– Alexander Keen, the physical education teacher at Canyon Lake Elementary School in Rapid City has only been teaching since August of 2022, but knew it was what he wanted to do.

“My dad is a teacher and his name is John Keen. And so I kind of followed in the family footsteps and I really enjoy coaching kids and like coaching sports,” Mr. Keen said. “It allows me to make the connections in multiple rooms.”

Keen is a graduate from the University of South Dakota, and had originally worked with middle and high school students while interning for schools in Beresford and Vermillion. However, when he took his first teaching job as a Physical Education teacher for kindergarten through fifth-grade students, he realized the biggest difference in teaching younger students: more hugs and excitement for the class. When not teaching, he also helps coach the Rapid City Stevens High School basketball team.

And when asked what he plans to do with the $500 awarded to him from the 1+1 Giveaway, his top priority was finding a way to keep motivating his students to succeed on the court and field.

Photos from Mr. Keen’s Class

“I had done a PACER test before Thanksgiving break and the kids really liked it and the records that we have. So I thought about making a record part of the PACER test and fitness test goals that kids like to achieve because a kindergartener sees a fifth grader got a 120, and they kind of motivate them to be more physically fit and active and reach a goal that they might not think is attainable.”

Keen also enjoys bringing new programs and activities to his students. Thanks to programs from the NFL, he has established flag football activities and plans to keep those going at the school to give students a variety of things to enjoy. And for kids that do not want to play sports, he has other items to keep the fun going, such as hula hoops. He also adjusts schedules and plans for students that may not want to play the sport he selected for the class.

All part of what he does is to make sure his students enjoy staying active.

“Sometimes their home lives aren’t the greatest. They don’t have the best situation, that they don’t have someone to play with them all the time and their parents might be working and they’re not exposed to all the different types of sports or activities that you can do. And so being able to provide that for the kids here means a lot to me and I make a positive impact on them.”

Click here to find out how you can nominate a teacher in your community for the award.


Categories: 1+1 Giveaway, Local News, South Dakota News