Richard Keilig teaches anatomy and physiology, biology, advanced biology and occasionally chemistry at Centerville High School. But before that, he achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel in the medical service corps of the U.S. Army Reserve and served seven years of active duty in the U.S. Army.
His military service stretched from 1972 to 2004. While in the reserves, he worked as a high school teacher, as a community college teacher and in hospitals.
Thirteen years ago, Keilig was finishing up a tour of active duty as the chief of bacteriology/microbiology at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He participated in the Department of Defense’s Troops to Teachers program to return to high school teaching.
“When I received an email from the Centerville School District that there was an opportunity here to teach high school science, I came up for an interview and really liked what I saw and signed up,” he says.
In 1999, the high school did not have the state-of-the-art science wing it has now. The Ruggles Science Center opened in 2005. Its laboratories and resources are a vast improvement over the old third-floor science rooms, Keilig says.
“It’s really a special part of the building,” he says. “A lot of planning and praying and finance went into making this building the way it was by visionaries that were here before I was.”
For the past 11 years, Keilig has also taught sections of anatomy, physiology, biology and microbiology at Indian Hills Community College in Centerville.
“It’s a great experience to work with people pursuing their dreams and sharing my experiences from the medical field,” he says. “It is also a challenge to learn and instruct new material. Science is always changing.”
Keilig and his wife, Carol, have five children and one granddaughter. Their oldest son is in the U.S. Marine Corps. Keilig says he is proud his son is serving in the military — even if it is with the Marines and not the Army.
“Teaching at Centerville High School has been a tremendous opportunity,” he says. “I really feel that we’re doing some great work here, helping to encourage our students to become members of society and to achieve their dreams after they finish school.”