It’s one of the nicest perks of my job that I get to sing the unsung heroes of our profession. It is partly
because of today’s hero, Bill Kean, that we are all sitting here now: One of his supporters noted that
would not have considered holding the CAMWS meeting in Madison without his help and inspiration.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1952, Bill became a public school Latin teacher,
then a school principal, then superintendent of schools in several districts in this state; even as
superintendent he continued to teach Latin until his retirement 10 years ago. He has been the president of
the Wisconsin Latin Teacher Association (WLTA) and the Wisconsin Association of Foreign Language Teachers.
the WLTA holds its annual “Spring Fling,” in which high school teachers bring their students to Madison for
special event relating to classics—as many as 800 students, that is—Bill is the one who makes it happen: He
secures the venue for the performance, makes the arrangements for the performers, including transportation
lodging, and as treasurer for the WLTA handles all the monetary transactions. When things go wrong at the
minute, as they inevitably do, Bill is always there to fix them. He also took the lead in organizing the
meeting in Madison, and saw to every detail, from registration to the closing banquet. Many people remarked
how special this particular ACL Institute was—how they felt more welcomed and more attended to than in other
years. This was due in large part to Bill and his ability to mobilize the WLTA members. His outreach
are tireless: he makes sure there is a Latin booth at Wisconsin Association of School Boards meetings, and
is through his advocacy that this year, for the first time, CAMWS can offer school teachers continuing
credits (CEUs) for attending panels.
Bill is, as one of his supporters put it, “a dynamic, outgoing person who promotes Latin at the drop of a hat.” As another noted, “For his energetic and constant advocacy of pre-college Latin in Wisconsin during the past quarter century, he is absolutely without peer.” We as CAMWS members owe him a special debt of gratitude for all he has done to make this wonderful meeting happen. For that and, more importantly, for his lifetime of cheerful and unstinting service to the profession, CAMWS is delighted to honor him with this Award for Special Service.
--Julia Dyson, Chair, Steering Committee on Awards and Scholarships