The Flat Rock-Hawcreek Schools community is remembering long-time local educator Glen S. Keller today as a person with great faith in people and who could inspire others to greatness.
Keller, 84, died at his home on Friday, Sept. 1st. His funeral is at 2 p.m. today at Hope Moravian Church with Pastor Andy Kilps officiating.
During his long career, he worked as principal at Petersville and Clifford elementary schools, as well as 20 years as head of Hauser High School. He went on to serve another 10 years as the school district superintendent for FRHC from 1985 to 1995.
Retired teacher Barb Johnson remembers Keller as her elementary school principal, and then her high school principal even before he became her boss and friend.
"He was involved in everything, whether it was organizations or school or church, you name it, he had his hand in just about everything," Johnson said.
And while they worked together as teacher and superintendent, it was Keller's plan to move the Simmons one-room schoolhouse to the school campus just over 20 years ago that really roped her in.
"That was one of his dreams and he was very determined that when a good idea came up, you kept working until you accomplished something," Johnson said. "That was really one of his mottoes back even when I was in high school. He was the student council sponsor back when I was in high school and he had basically two things he kept telling the group: Number one, you don't start something if you have no intentions of finishing it.
"And the second was, if you can come up with a good dream and you work hard enough on it, you can do anything in Hope, Ind. I know it hit home with me and I think it probably did for an awful lot of other students. Because he suddenly made everybody realize that it didn't matter how small of a school you were from, if you worked hard, you could accomplish everything you intended to accomplish."
Keller also married Johnson's second cousin.
She said Keller had a knack for motivating people.
"He met my husband and I as we were going into church one day and said 'I have a project for you to get involved in,'" Johnson said. "And I didn't want a project at that time because I was so busy. But Ed said 'Sure we will help build the schoolhouse,' and we have been with that project ever since."
"He had a way of making every project special for whoever was going to be involved... He knew people and he knew how to get the most out of them, was I guess what his strength was."
Warner Michener, former Hope and Hauser principal, said he first met Keller when he was considering a job change. Out of the blue, Keller called to convince him to come to Hope. To this day, Michener is unsure how exactly Keller came to find his number. But he was extremely persuasive.
"He was just almost like magic with people," Michener said. "He just had a way to connect with people whether you met him for the first time or you had been around him for 30 years. He just had a way to do that."
Michener said that Keller became one of his closest friends, even serving as an usher at Michener's wedding.
"I had a relationship with him that I feel like I never really had with my own father," Michener said. "That meant quite a bit too me."
"He was as genuine of a person as I have ever known in my life," Michener said. "He loved people. He loved being around people. He loved doing things for people.
"He did a lot of things for people that people knew about, but he also did a lot of things that people really did not know about. But he took great pleasure in just serving others. To me he really epitomized service to others. It was just the way he lived his life. I think he had his priorities right."