Doug Kee retires as Oroville fifth grade teacher

Going to work full time at Windermere Real Estate

Doug Kee in a recent school picture

Doug Kee in a recent school picture

OROVILLE – After 33 years as a teacher in Oroville, Doug Kee retired at the end of this school year. He spent most of his time as a fifth grade teacher at Oroville Elementary School.

“My first year of teaching was the 1978-79 school year at Fowler Middle School in Tigard Oregon, I taught science and coached wrestling and track. The next two years I was the caretaker at a boy scout camp on the coast near Snohomish and Monroe (Camp Omache),” said Kee.

While there he was a substitute teacher for the Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett and Granite Falls school districts.

“Even though I was subbing pretty much full time; when I got married in 1981 I decided I should get a real job,” he said. “I’ve been teaching school and raising my own six kids in Oroville for the last 33 years. I started in Oroville the fall of 1981.”

Kee first taught junior high at Oroville for two years, then bounced between fifth and sixth grades before settling in as a fifth grade teacher.

“I coached junior high track off and on for most of my career and somewhere in there I was the assistant high school track coach for Miss J for a couple years,” said Kee, referring to Elaine Johnson, a long time girls P.E. teacher at Oroville, who also coached several sports teams during her career here.

He also coached junior high wrestling for a couple years and helped with the fifth and sixth grade Killer Bee Wrestling for several years.

Doug Kee (upper right) and his first Oroville Cross Country Team in 1987 with his then assistant and current Tonasket Cross Country Coach Bob Thornton (upper left) .

Doug Kee (upper right) and his first Oroville Cross Country Team in 1987 with his then assistant and current Tonasket Cross Country Coach Bob Thornton (upper left) .

“In August of 1987 a couple of high students knocked on my door and told me that they got the okay to start a cross country team and that Bob Thornton and I were going to be the coaches,” he said. “So since then, except for a couple of years when life got in the way, I’ve been coaching cross country which I have thoroughly enjoyed,” said Kee, adding, “After a few years Bob got the opportunity to start coaching in Tonasket, where he ran in high school.”

The long time teacher and coach says he guesses retirement won’t seem real until next fall when he doesn’t have to head back to the classroom.

During his tenure as a teacher he wasn’t idle during the summers either. Since he’s lived in Oroville he has always had some sort of summer job: forest service, construction or orchards.

“Ten years ago I got a real estate license and have since then been working summers and part time as a real estate broker. So nothing will really be different until fall,” he said. A frustration with real estate has been that I work with people all summer and when fall comes they’re ready to make a decision on what property they want to buy, and I head back to school and coaching so I have to hand them off to another agent.”

Now that Kee has retired from the school district he’ll be working be working full time with the Petersons and Dan Coursey at Windermere in Oroville.

Going to work full time at Windermere Real EstateGoing to work full time at Windermere Real Estate

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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