Bill Koens, by Heather Calame, Music Teacher
The first time I interacted with Bill Koens was when he brought his Advisory students into my classroom for a presentation of Senior Capstone Projects. “If there’s one good thing about teaching, it’s using petty authority, so SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET,” he boomed at the class. The class all chuckled and quieted down to enjoy the presentation of a student’s composed piano fugue.
Koens still enjoys throwing his “petty authority” around, but he never has to yell at his class to do it. “He just starts talking and everyone gets quiet to hear him,” says student Andrew Vu. He currently enjoys teaching geometry, AP Statistics, and AP Calculus to the students at PCS.
Koens is a well-loved teacher among the students. “He’s like us,” says Vu, “imagine a teenager, but as an adult.” He maintains a personable relationship with students and loves playing board games with them. After school on Friday, he can be found in his classroom surrounded by students playing table-top games that vary from simple deck-builders to games with very complex balances of strategy and chance. “He is the kind of teacher who plays Star Wars music during class” recalls Vu.
The student store in the main hallway is also the genius of Koens and his seminar for budding entrepreneurs. In guiding the business-oriented students who really do all the work, Koens helps maintain a local thriving economy of snacks and spirit wear at the Puma shop.
The glamorously quiet life of Mr. Koens is not well known. Preferring to stick with his normal routines and familiar friends and family doesn’t make for exciting adventure stories to write in a “what you did last summer” essay. However, despite his humble exterior, Koens is a rather accomplished pianist, a church volunteer, a beloved husband and father, and he loves to read. PCS thrives because of excellent teachers like Bill Koens.