Many, Many, years ago, our alma mater contacted alumni explaining their new masters program, with an option to do it traditionally, online, or over the summers. Looking into it, Keith decided it was the right time for him to earn his masters degree. The university, (college, at the time) had a plan, a perfect plan for a family man. (or woman, it just rhymed) It would be 3 summers of intensive classes, with the bonus that the students could bring their families along. With their dorm suites, families could be together for the 4 week classes, still working on their degree with the bonus of having family close. They would house the family, offer a meal plan, kids programs, the pool was open from noon until 9 at night. It was perfect. Our greatest friendship was formed those summers, and it is something we look back with great joy and fond memories. He finished his masters degree, with highest honors, 2 new children were born during those summers of classes, at graduation time I snuggled a new baby E, sitting next to the former college (at the time) president. I was so proud of him! He had worked hard, was again proven to be a great learner, and an excellent student. We were able to visit with some of our closest friends during graduation, as a bonus the family he lived with for 3 months of student teaching, came down to celebrate his accomplishments with us.
Keith discovered that he was not yet finished learning, with encouragement, he began looking into doctorate programs. It all started because UofM (University of Michigan) sent him a some mail about their doctorate programs. He looked into getting his degree from there, which would have been a dream come true. He was encouraged by our school headmaster to keep searching, and to keep learning.
Early in 2013 He made a decision to earn his doctorate from a University out west. Starting the program the same time it was discovered I had 2 small spots in my breast, and a tumor on my brain was going to challenge us. Those spots, now gone, and the tumor still there, just shrunken, were not what ended up slowing him down, nope it was the surprise of #7. She slowed him down, you remember the pregnancy was risky, and she was too early. He took some time off from the program, while we waited for things to calm down. in 2014, as he was getting ready to resume their classes another University (a local one) came to him asking him to be in the first Education Doctorate graduating class. This opportunity came at the right time, he resumed classes at the local university. They had a few intense summer classes, which was perfect, he would still be home at night, albeit super late at night, but he came home. What seems like forever and a minute later, he began his dissertation, and the process of research, writing, editing, research, writing, editing, began. It took him months of planning, research, writing and editing to complete his paper (book) and plan to defend his work. He scheduled his defense and began planning, spending hours with his computer, and meeting with his advisor (the blessing of his University being local, not out west.) Until he came out of the back of the house with a declaration, “I know what I am going to say” He had a plan, he had a small book, and an appointment to defend his dissertation. We were invited to listen to him defend his research. It was on project based learning. It was interesting and fascinating. After he was finished we were led outside while he met with his team. His fan club included most of our family, A and PS were not included, they would not have been interested, C was actually in Paris, for work at the time, and unable to make it. His parents and sister, my mom, a few of his doctorate classmates and a few of his professors. They discussed and questioned, asked for more information, encouraged him and he passed. I knew he would. I am so proudThe new Doctor, could not even celebrate, he had to go back to work. (just in time for a medical emergency)
At our school, during the graduation ceremony, the faculty and staff march in first during the ceremony. He and the headmaster lead the way. I was too far from him to get the entrance picture, but my friend (the friendship that was formed during the masters classes so many years ago) sent me this pictures. She said he looked like a preacher in this one, it might be one of my favorites from that night.
Dr Keith Overholt.
DOCTORATE OF EDUCATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL ADMINISTRATION
We are so proud. We celebrated him just a few days ago with an open house. It was a small party, with the friends and family who encouraged him along the way.
We have been discussing the end of his education, when he mentioned he might want to go farther, I was excited from him, he just is that smart, but I am ready for a little break. I think I convinced him to give it a year or so before he goes for more.
GO hug your kids, they need the love and tell someone you love them