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The City of Irvine appreciates the service of the following honoree:

Wall of Recognition
Keith Oldoerp
Distinguished Citizen
Keith Oldoerp retired in September of 2013, after teaching Elementary School in Irvine for 40 years. He began his career with the Irvine Unified School district in 1973, just a year after the school district formed, and two years after Irvine became a city. In 1973 Mr. Oldoerp was chosen as one of the first teachers to open El Camino Real Elementary School. He was a true leader and became a legend among the students, teachers and parents of El Camino. He was very influential at El Camino and shaped the culture, curriculum and environment. In 1981, Principal Gene Bedley challenged Mr. Oldoerp to create a school affiliated day care, which would mirror the vision and values of El Camino. Mr. Oldoerp co-created and opened Kids of Camino which provided childcare before- and after-school hours. He would open the childcare center in the morning, teach and then operate it again at night. The childcare model and service standards that he created in 1981 were used as the model for other IUSD child care facilities which are still in operation to this day. In the early 1990s the state mandated the creation of a mentor teacher program to train and guide new teachers. The first IUSD selection process was highly competitive, but Mr. Oldoerp was chosen as one of the six original district mentor teachers. The program has grown considerably and there are more than 50 mentor teachers in the district today. He held his mentor position until retirement. In retirement, Mr. Oldoerp has continued to volunteer to help and train new teachers in the district. In 1999, Plaza Vista opened its doors in Westpark and Mr. Oldoerp was chosen as a select group of teachers that would hire the staff and open the new school. As he did at El Camino, he was a leader and mentor to his peers. In 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Irvine Unified Teacher of the Year award. Mr. Oldoerp spent his entire career developing innovative teaching methods, which would reach all of his students regardless of their challenges. He was known as the Go to guy when it came to committees, projects and programs. His influence is demonstrated in curriculum, textbooks, testing and other education components. He pioneered Simutown a signature school program where students create business, sell goods, pay taxes and elect town leadership. In an Orange County Register article about Mr. Oldoerps retirement, Plaza Vista Principal Heather Philips was quoted as saying, (Keith Oldoerp) represents everything she loves about Irvine schools: the way he engaged students, his knack for listening to children and never providing a canned response and his funny stories that make the classroom like a second home.