Okawville Welcomes Mr. Kenow


Briley Rhodes and Megan Rennegarbe

Mr. Kenow, new business teacher at OHS

Taylor Hettenhausen, Staff Writer

Mr. Kevin Kenow is the new teacher to replace Mr. Swift at Okawville Jr/Sr High School. He was interviewed by the Okawville Launch Pad as to what he teaches, why he does it, and where he came from. Mr. Kenow grew up in New Minden and attended New Baden St. George Elementary School. After that, he attended Wesclin Jr/Sr High School. He currently lives happily in Albers,Illinois with his wife Shelley, his daughter Violet, and their dog Jonas. 

Kenow studied business as a part of his degree program at Greenville University. While studying, he got to know the people that he worked for in the industry. He asked them questions, and learned their processes. He learned to understand the “why” behind everything and every decision. Understanding business helps you respect everyone’s contribution and the effort everyone contributed.

At Okawville, we are a sport loving community. Naturally, I asked the new teacher if he had played any during his school days. Mr. Kenow said “I ran track for 1 year then decided that track wasn’t for me.” He later got more into pickup basketball and football with his friends from New Memphis. 

Another question I asked him was why he chose Okawville to teach at and why he wanted to start teaching. He replied “My wife was a teacher by trade and she suggested that I try substitute teaching during my extra time. I enjoyed substitute teaching so much last year that Mr. Senior mentioned a full-time position. I also really enjoy sharing what I have learned and continuing to learn myself.”

He was asked how he liked Okawville so far, and he said, “I like the school as a whole. Everyone has been very welcoming and I feel like I belong. Which is sometimes challenging for a new teacher.”

Mr. Kenow teaches Careers, Computer Applications, Consumer Economics, Business and Technology Concepts, Introductory Business and Marketing, and Keyboarding here at Okawville. When asked why he wanted to teach business classes, he responded saying, “I have been in Technology and Business development since leaving the US Air Force in 1997. I would like to inspire the next generation of Technology and Business leaders to reach even more achievement and success than my generation has.”  He also suggests that everyone should have a side hustle. Every Okawville student can learn and get the basics of business in Mr. Kenow’s class or Mr. Berg’s. 

Mr. Kenow, while teaching business classes, also owns one as well. His wife is an author, speaker, and consultant who works with schools and families to ensure special needs students get great service. This team serves them with the best advice with legal obligations, options, and measuring outcomes. This part of the business is very important to both of them because it serves the needs of many who can’t speak up on their own. His side of the business is consulting and placement services for technology professionals. He places technology experts in jobs or on contracts to support businesses. He loves helping people get great jobs at great companies.

The last question asked was if Mr. Kenow had any advice for someone who wanted to start a business but didn’t know much about it. He said, “Go do the job for someone else for a year or two. I also advise to find a mentor in the field of work and also a business mentor and be sure to be open and honest, asking questions often. The best business people never stop learning, never quit finding new ways to educate themselves, they value themselves and the people around them.” said Kenow. Success is not only measured by dollars and cents, but often by the lessons that are learned when disaster strikes. He also says to go for it and make all kinds of mistakes from which to learn.