My name is Ken Keefe and I am running for the Mahomet-Seymour school board. I believe in the incredible power of education to empower and improve the lives of people from all walks of life. Public education is an extremely precious gift, and I will work hard to protect our community’s schools and see our children flourish.
I was born to a fifth-grade teacher and a community college industrial technology professor. I am truly blessed that my parents instilled in me the importance of education.
After high school, I attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where I met the love of my life on the marching band field. Jen and I married after college and moved to the central Illinois area where I started graduate school at the University of Illinois. In 2008, we moved to Mahomet, and I began working at the University of Illinois as a software engineer in the Information Trust Institute. Jen continued her career as the elementary music teacher at the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School.
After moving to the Mahomet area, Jen and I began our family by becoming foster parents. Over the years, we’ve had 9 children in our care. We have had students in every school in the district, except the high school. We currently have an 8th grader, a 2nd grader, a kindergartener, and a new baby boy.
My years as a foster parent have given me an interesting perspective on child development, trauma, and the child welfare system. Four years ago, I was appointed to the Illinois Statewide Foster Care Advisory Council (SWFCAC) by the director of the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). In that role, I have actively represented the interests of Illinois foster parents on topics of DCFS policy, Illinois and federal legislation, foster parent training, agency evaluations, and foster children welfare. Over the past two years, I have served as the chair of the policy/legislative committee for SWFCAC. Last year, I was elected the vice chair of the council by its membership.
Locally, I have been an active member of the Mahomet-Seymour PTO for five years, serving on the board as communications secretary and treasurer. This year, I was responsible for leading the team that planned and executed the Dawg Walk fundraiser. We raised a record amount for the PTO and our elementary schools. I am also a regular volunteer coach with the Mahomet Parks and Recreation Department’s soccer and baseball programs.
Science and mathematics have always been a strong passion of mine. As a young child, I loved math in school and knew I would pursue a career in a scientific field. Today, I work with professors, researchers, and students to develop cutting edge mathematical modeling tools to study the performance and security of computer systems and critical national infrastructure. On the school board, I will be a steadfast advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in our schools and will depend on my scientific foundations to look for data-driven solutions.
My family and I enjoy traveling, camping, swimming, playing board games, and going to the movies. I am also interested in hobby farming, including gardening, beekeeping, and raising chickens, as well as dabbling in carpentry and electronics projects.