A former Penticton Secondary student wants the gymnasium named after retired teacher Keith Allen. (Submitted photo)

A former Penticton Secondary student wants the gymnasium named after retired teacher Keith Allen. (Submitted photo)

Petition started to name gym after popular South Okanagan teacher

Keith Allen left an impression with many students over his career

He has shaken the hands and the lives of thousands of Penticton Secondary School students, now one of Keith Allen’s former students wants to do something to recognize the impact he left with so many.

Kevin Hill, who graduated in 1979, said he is just one of hundreds of students that Allen left an impression on during his 32 years as a teacher and a coach. He also spearheaded a petition calling for the gym at Penticton Secondary School to be named after Allen.

“During my grad year, I am willing to bet I shook his hand over 100 times. He would always make it a point to be walking the hallways during class changes and calling people, ‘you old hound dog.’ Everyone knew that when you are getting teased by Coach Allen then you had really gotten some place in life,” said Hill. “When he retired his wife and daughter went through all the wallet-sized school photos students had given him over the years and it filled an album to the point it must have been about six inches thick. Students would write on the back thanking Coach Allen for helping them through a tough time or being there when they needed him. I am getting choked up here just talking about it, he is a pretty amazing person.”

READ MORE: Humanitarian work earns Penticton teacher Unsung Citizen award

Hill first met Allen when he graduated to the school from Princess Margaret (which only went to Grade 10 at the time). Allen was his physical education teacher and assistant coach of the football team.

“In terms of what he has done for me, I would say everything. I took from him what I never got from my own dad into my adult life,” said Hill. “He was the type of guy that always had these dad type jokes … I remember when I had a good tackle on the football field he would grab my facemark and say, ‘you are the ugliest old hound dog I have ever seen.’ Coaching football myself a number of years later it is exactly what I started doing. You knew when he called you that it meant, hey man I care about you.”

READ MORE: Tears and laughter celebrate Bruce Johnson’s life

Allen was also very involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was featured in a video that tells the story of how he and his wife landed in Penticton from Iowa and the impacts he has made over the years helping kids through athletics.

Hill has set a goal of getting 500 people to sign the online petition at change.org, titled Name the Pen-Hi gym, the Keith Allen gymnasium. As of Monday, over 500 people have signed it. Hill said he got the idea after someone he knew posted a photo of Allen on Facebook saying, ‘guess who?’ Within 48 hours Hill said it had generated over 145 comments from people sharing their stories about the teacher.

Hill has sent a letter to the City of Penticton council looking for any support for his cause and has contacted the school board.

“Too many of these honours are given posthumously. I want to do this while he is still in good health and living in the area,” said Hill.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

sdaf
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

Central Okanagan Public Schools is assisting with the distribution of a donation of $500 to every Grade 12 graduating student in the school district. (File photo)
Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads get $500 surprise

Anonymous donor gifts $500 to every Grade 12 student

A vehicle was fully engulfed in flames before around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kerry Hutter - contributed)
UPDATE: Kelowna man cuffed after carjacking in Vernon

Crime spree: Man robs couple at Coldstream lookout at gunpoint, sets a vehicle ablaze

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read