Keith is an education coach, trainer, and writer. Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of northern Alabama, his mother was a bank teller. His father farmed cotton and sold used farm equipment. Keith attended Head Start in Gadsden, Alabama, and graduated from Hokes Bluff High School. $200 from his grandmother, Woogie, and a leadership scholarship paved the way for him to become a first-generation graduate of Jacksonville State University. Inspired by hometown missionary Mary Jane Whorton, a teacher in Kenya, he studied to be a teacher and spent a brief stint in seminary. Later, he pivoted to teaching secondary English and math for the US government in Germany.
In his first years of teaching, Keith developed a knack for leading and training colleagues. Additionally, he received training and mentoring from several educational leaders: Jon Saphier, Louise Thomson, Ernie Stokowski, Robby Champion, Gene Hall, Anita Archer, Rick DuFour, Robert Garmston, and Janet Crispeels, among others. Eventually, Keith shifted full-time to training teachers and directing school improvement efforts at the district level. He became a principal, leading school turnaround work and regularly increasing student outcomes by double digits in Arizona, Colorado, and Puerto Rico. Along the way, he picked up all the advanced degrees available. His doctorate focused on school superintendent race and identity. Keith maintains a personal passion and a strong track record for accelerating the education of traditionally marginalized student populations.
Keith wrote articles for Education Leadership and Kappan. ASCD published his books – The Instructional Coaching Handbook: 200+ Troubleshooting Strategies for Success! (2023) and Training Design, Delivery, and Diplomacy: An Educator's Guide (August, 2023).
A few partners Keith worked with include the following:
Achieve3000 – Lakewood, NJ
Alliance College-Ready Public Schools – Los Angeles, CA
Arizona Department of Education – Phoenix, AZ
Bureau of Indian Education – Albuquerque, NM
California Department of Education – Sacramento, CA
Department of Defense Education Activity – Alexandria, VA
First 5 – San Francisco, CA
Frankfurt International School – Frankfurt, Germany
Illinois State Board of Education – Springfield, IL
Los Angeles Unified School District – Los Angeles, CA
McGraw Hill – New York, NY
Mediterranean Association of International Schools – Madrid, Spain
Mosaica Education – Doha, Qatar
Norfolk Public Schools – Norfolk, VA
Ohio Department of Education – Columbus, OH
Peoria Unified School District – Peoria, AZ
Troy Community Consolidated School District – Plainfield, IL
US Environmental Protection Agency – San Francisco, CA
Valley View School District – Romeoville, IL
WestEd – San Francisco, CA
Keith trains and coaches administrators, teacher coaches, and school leadership teams through his company AKYConsulting. AKYConsulting provides a small team of accomplished principals, teacher coaches, and district leaders. The group is renowned for its skill at demonstrating coaching live with teachers, administrators, and teams in classrooms, meetings, and school corridors. Keith and his team provide a blended coaching style focused on learner outcomes -- an approach grasped eagerly by leaders. As educators, they maintain a progressive philosophy and an instructional style embracing the best of constructivism and explicit instruction.
Married for nearly twenty-five years, Keith and his husband live on the South Carolina coast and enjoy being mediocre gardeners and doting on several of their parcel of 22 nephews and one neice.
Sign up for a quarterly newsletter about coaching, or reach out to Keith for more information at hello@AKYConsulting.com.