A BITTER-SWEET GOODBYE

March 12, 2021, Aaron Kelley walked out of Kelly High School, having worked there for almost 19 years. During his time here, Mr. Kelley taught over 10 different classes, from AP US History to Video Design. His career was characterized by service, going above and beyond, always with a smile. He will be remembered with love, as he travels on to be the new Elections Manager in the County Clerk's Office for Jefferson County.

 

When Mr. Kelley began at Kelly in 2002, the use of technology was very different. As eLearning techniques increased in importance, the school found a critical guide in Mr. Kelley. He ushered them into the incorporation of devices and the Internet in classrooms across campus. The journey was a learning experience for him as well, particularly during his time as the Computer Science teacher.When the primary coding for teachers switched from C++ to Java, he had to learn an entirely new language. 

 

Beyond the classroom, Mr. Kelley provided valuable help to any with technology questions on campus. During the shutdown, as the school scrambled to organize virtual learning, he was one of the main coaches for teachers in transitioning to full-time eLearning.

 

His expertise will surely come in handy in his new job, the Elections Manager, in which he will coordinate election events for the county, incorporate federal and state changes into the process, oversee equipment distribution, recruit volunteers from both parties to staff events, ensure fair elections, and give reports to the state. Obviously, it is an important vocation; Mrs. Sparks remarked that he is “overqualified,” and the county is lucky to be getting him. 

 

However, it is a bitter-sweet goodbye, as Mr. Kelley is much loved here at Kelly. Among words used to describe him were, “kind, thoughtful, considerate, warm, and helpful.” “He will go out of his way to make someone else’s life easier,” Mrs. Haddad said, “he’s an angel among men!”

 

To commemorate his service, Mr. White and the band paid the last AP Government block a quick visit on Mr. Kelley’s final day. The excited pack of students managed to keep quiet enough to completely surprise him, blasting the fight song through the halls for him one last time. “He’s just one of those teachers that has been a part of the community for so long,” Mr. White commented.

 

Mr. Kelley knows that he will remember his time here, too. “It’s been a big chunk of my life,” he reflected. When asked what he’d remember most, he said without missing a beat, “the good friends, not only among the colleagues and staff, but the kids. They’re what got me through whenever I was down.” He remarked that a lot has changed here over the years, especially how much more difficult it is to maintain students’ attention with the spread of technology, but the “core Catholic beliefs” have remained steady and strong. “[Kelly] existed long before I was here and will exist long after,” he said, “I hope it finds its footing on the new journey that it's on.”