Drama teacher Reuben Van Kempen is retiring from Roosevelt High School. He leaves a huge legacy of accomplishment.
Reuben is a friend since before he taught at Roosevelt. And Myrnie.
… “One of the many things that made Ruben a special drama teacher was his vision,” comments Berryman. “This vision created an environment for students like myself to explore, grow, imagine and discover the wonder of theater.”
Van Kempen has also been celebrated by his peers. He was inducted into the Educational Theatre Association’s Hall of Fame, and received a Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award from Theatre Puget Sound, among other honors.
But the ongoing friendships with former students have been especially rewarding for Van Kempen, who was born in The Netherlands but grew up in Seattle. After graduating from the University of Washington and briefly pursuing a career as a performer, he began teaching drama in the late 1970s.
Chad Kimball, a 2010 Tony Award nominee who returned to Seattle to attend the April 23 retirement bash, still relies on his former teacher for advice and support.