Local News Archive
Print Issue: February 4, 1999
Graduate Likes Being Back At St. Joseph School
BY ERIKA ANDERSON
ATHENS--Ken Bouknecht goes about his work quietly, changing light bulbs, mopping floors and getting lunch ready at the school he attended for eight years.
Bouknecht, 22, a 1991 graduate of St. Josephs School, was hired as a maintenance worker at the school in December 1998.
I basically do everything that no one else wants to do, he said jokingly.
After working for over three years at Sears Auto Center in Athens, Bouknecht realized that he wanted a change of pace. He heard about the maintenance position at the school and church and immediately applied. He said that working at his former school was somewhat surreal.
Its really a lot different, he said. Before I had no say so in anything. Now I am co-workers with some of my teachers. Its just a different mentality from when I went to school here.
The 1995 Clark Central High School graduate credits his education at St. Josephs as a major aspect in his formation as an adult.
I absolutely benefited from my Catholic education, he said. I think Im much more polite than I would have been otherwise and I have a lot more respect for others. Because it is church related, a different environment is created here than in a public school.
Though Bouknecht enjoys his job, he has dreams of becoming a commercial airline pilot. He plans on entering a flight academy in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and eventually working for Delta Airlines. He said that becoming a pilot is something in which he has recently become interested.
This has really just been in the last two years, he said. Its a recent development that has taken on quite a bit of meaning for me.
For now, Bouknecht is content at St. Josephs. Though he tries to work quietly so he does not disturb the children, he enjoys the interaction that he does have with the students.
Its wonderful, he said. I love kids and they do say some really cute things. I just try not to work in the classrooms while they are in class because I remember being in school and the smallest thing can distract you. I really dont want to disrupt their education.
Bouknecht said that it feels good to be back at St. Josephs.
I feel good that I can do my part to help the church where I attend, he said. Theyve given me so much. Theyve given me an education and they gave me a lot of love growing up. I just want to give something back.
COMING FULL CIRCLE -- Ken Bouknecht
stands with St. Joseph School teachers, left to right, Francis Chapman, Phyllis
Francis, JoAnn Webb and Joyce Morgan. All four taught Bouknecht at some point
during his eight years at the Athens school where he now works.