Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators

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Keith Ballard Added to National Teachers Hall of Fame

April 5, 2024

Keith Ballard (CA '03), who teaches music at San Diego's Southwest Middle School, joins the National Teachers Hall of Fame's class of 2024. 

Ballard, who has been teaching at Southwest Middle since 1998, was surprised by NTHF representatives who made an unannounced visit to his classroom. They presented Ballard with the honor in front of more than 100 middle schoolers, camera crew members and reporters, who joined the celebration in the award-winning educator's Intro to Mariachi class.

Ballard started Southwest Middle's "Island Steel Drum Band" and mariachi ensemble. His students have traveled the country to perform on the Today Show and for President Bill Clinton and George Bush. “The cool thing working with these kids is if you just give them a little bit of love, and you work hard, and you show some compassion, you can do some great things,” Ballard said in an interview with NBC San Diego