Born and raised in Northwest, Indiana, Dr. Dan Keilman has always been devoted to the community in which he lived. Even when he moved away from home for twelve years, studying to be a priest, Keilman remained dedicated to his community.
For thirteen years, Keilman served as the principal for Bailly Elementary School before moving on to Jackson Elementary School for eighteen years. Then, he moved on to work with the Indiana State Department of Education for the next three and a half years.
"This is the first semester that I haven't been working for in the education business at all," Keilman said. "It's a strange sensation. I miss it. I loved just being with the kids. I feel that a school develops personalities and can't develop without those kids. I think that's the main job of the principal – being a positive part of their lives. In my thirty-one years as a principal, I spent less than ten percent of my time in my office, because I was always out with the kids."
Now, Keilman offers his services in a freelance capacity – having worked as a professor at IUN for the past five years, tutoring kids, and working with the local YMCA in the Early Childhood Development programs.
"You get to know the kids, discover their strengths, and help them build on those strengths," Keilman said. "It's the most rewarding part of my work."
In his free time, Keilman volunteers with many different organizations in his local community. Currently, he helps out with the Retired Teachers Association, the Kiwanis Club, the local Rotary Club, the Exchange Club, the Duneland Education Foundation and the Duneland Resale Board. Keilman has been on the board and held offices in all of these groups at one time or another.
"When I started out as a principal, I began to be more aware of the community, and I always felt a responsibility to not only help the school, but help build the community," Keilman said. "I really like my work with all of the organizations. I enjoy everything that I do. Thankfully, I have been a very fortunate person."
In his free time, Keilman enjoys many different pastimes. He loves to read and write, and is an avid sports fan, cheering on the White Sox and the Bears, in particular. He also enjoys spending time on Youtube, listening to music.
"I spend about a half hour every night unwinding with Youtube," Keilman laughs.
Currently, his favorite songs to search for are "Hallelujah" and "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina."
However, his favorite pastime is spending time with his grandchildren. With eleven grandchildren, and number twelve on the way, Keilman and his wife love spending as much time with them as they can.
"Every time all of us get together, it's one great big party, which is wonderful," Keilman said.