Retiring OMS teacher: I’ll always be a Bobcat

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 12, 2014

After devoting half of his life to the Opp City School system, Keith Ball is moving on to spend time with his family.

Ball said he is retiring to his hometown of Pensacola, Fla., to spend time with his mother, whose health has been declining.

“It was a hard decision, but seeing as it was my family, I couldn’t refuse,” he said. “Your family comes first.”

Ball said he realized his passion for Spanish and his desire to work with young people began after a two-year mission trip to Ecuador after high school.

Ball began teaching Spanish at OHS in August 1990 and continued until he was called into active duty.

“In August 2004, I was called up to active duty to serve with the 128 Medical Company to serve in Baghdad,” he said. “While in Iraq, I served as company medic for convoys and handled medical records and immunizations for roughly 80 troops in our company.”

Ball returned from Iraq in December 2005 and to the school system in January 2006 to fill in for a close friend.

He taught his friend’s anatomy and biology classes at OHS before taking over the business technology classes.

In 2011, he returned to teaching Spanish fulltime, and in 2013 he moved to the middle school to teach computer classes again.

“Along the way, I had the opportunity to teach at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College,” Ball said. “I began there around 1996 and I taught evening classes in Spanish until summer 2014.”

He said we will be looking for a job in Pensacola and would like to continue teaching.

“I have had a great experience teaching here at OMS,” Ball said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed the young people here.

“I have also enjoyed working with the teachers here, even though I have been teaching long enough to have taught 10 of the teachers at OMS,” he said. “I was teaching school when Mr. Aaron Hightower, the principal of OMS, was a student at OHS.”

“Over half my life has been spent here with Opp City Schools,” Ball said. “I will always be an Opp Bobcat.”

Although Ball cannot name just one-stand out student in his teaching career, he said they have all been great and he appreciates having had a small hand in their lives.

Ball’s wife and two youngest children, Noah and Kylie, moved to Pensacola before the school year started. His two oldest children, Matthew and Michael, have completed mission trips and one is now attending Auburn University.