Passing on the Keyes

T.V.+Productions+teacher+Brian+Keyes+stands+on+the+football+field+on++August+10th%2C+1981.+Forty-one+years+later%2C+Keyes+has+announced+his+decision+to+retire+following+the+end+of+the+2021-2022+school+year+to+pursue+future+projects%2C+but+not+without+leaving+a+footprint+on+the+field%2C+in+the+newsroom%2C+and+on+the+lives+of+many+at+school.

Photo provided by: Brian Keyes

T.V. Productions teacher Brian Keyes stands on the football field on August 10th, 1981. Forty-one years later, Keyes has announced his decision to retire following the end of the 2021-2022 school year to pursue future projects, but not without leaving a footprint on the field, in the newsroom, and on the lives of many at school.

Once a Patriot, forever a Patriot. After six principals, over 25 Patriot Petes and 41 years of teaching, Career and Technical and Television Productions teacher Brian Keyes is retiring from his career as an educator, continuing on into the next episode of his life. 

Beginning as an athletic trainer, Keyes later took on the title of being a science teacher. After 31 years, Keyes’ captivation with the art of cinema and having influences, such as his father, in the film industry, led to teaching T.V. Production where he has now spent the last eleven years making the newsroom his domain.

“I treasured my science time, but the creative process, the scene, the ideas, manifesting it, editing something, it’s just really cool,” Keyes said. “This is the one class, other than an art class, where you are making souvenirs. You’re not gonna keep your English research paper, it’s probably already in the trash. But that silly little video I did my sophomore year, I may have it on a USB. Pull it out when I’m thirty and have a good laugh at myself.”

While his job title and room number have changed several times, Keyes’s passion for his students and sincere love of his job has remained constant. Aside from the enlivened atmosphere Keyes has constructed inside the T.V. Studio, he is set apart by his rare effort to celebrate the accomplishments of his colleagues and students, while harboring a sense of openness and authenticity. 

“Mr. Keyes is just through and through a Patriot,” principal Brian Blasewitz said. “Besides all of the knowledge that he has with the morning show and the equipment and the studio, he’s gonna be hard to replace just because he’s not like an English teacher, where you have fifty people certified to teach English. Besides the fact that he’s amazing at what he does, it’s gonna be difficult to find somebody who can step in and do as good of a job as he did. He is probably on the Mount Rushmore of Lake Brantley teachers for sure just because of his institutional knowledge and his care for the school.”

He is probably on the Mount Rushmore of Lake Brantley teachers for sure just because of his institutional knowledge and his care for the school. ”

— Brian Blasewitz

For some students, Keyes’s retirement comes at a time of shared sadness and enthusiasm for what their future beyond the school looks like. A select few seniors have had the privilege of being under the instruction of Keyes all four years of their high school career, allowing them to expand their knowledge of film while forming a meaningful relationship with their teacher. 

“I like to be around all the excitement that he’s generating because it’s his last year and he wants to do all these new things,” senior and Morning Show anchor Kade Sowers said. “Doing the news has been really fun. Talking to Mr. Keyes himself has been really fun. He’s been a huge influence. It’s just been really special.”

Aside from the skills students are able to acquire through project assignments, Adobe certifications and firsthand experience through on and off screen roles for the LBHS Morning Show, they are also led by a teacher who strives to create an all around constructive environment. Keyes’s attentiveness to others and his work sheds light on what makes him a great educator and a unique soul. 

“One of the things that I will always remember about Mr. Keyes is the relationship that he had with his students and the trust that he put into them,” Blasewitz said. “This is the first school that I’ve ever been at that had a live morning show and my first year when he said that we do the announcements live, I was like ‘There’s no way we can do that because somebody could go rogue,’ and nobody ever did. That’s a testament to him and the respect that the students have for him as well.”