Get to Know More About Mr. Keyzer



 If you’ve noticed a new face around the Cove, why not stop in and say hello to Mr. Keyzer, one of the special education teachers here at West Milford High School. He grabbed my attention because he is also a coach for West Milford Football and Lakeland’s Basketball and Softball coach. At first I thought in the interview “The Highland Echo” would be able to get good points about the rival school, and there would be some exciting trash talk as I hoped he would talk West Milford up, however, the interview proved to be much more fascinating. Coach Keyser had a lot to say about everything I asked him about,  and I thank Mr. Keyzer for such an interesting conversation. 

Mr. Keyzer has been coaching for seven years. His favorite sport to coach is football, which he has played for a long time.  Keyzer played football back in college in the O-line position. He went to college at Souvey, Virginia, Newport Rhode Island University, where he majored in Administration of Justice. He also coaches softball and basketball for none other than our rival school, Lakeland. Between Lakeland and West Milford he says he is happy with where he is in West Milford, and there are a lot of pros and cons between both schools. 

Since he coaches a sport for almost every season, most of his free time is occupied, however, when he does find time he likes to watch and play golf even though he admitted, “it is an extremely frustrating sport.” However, he does have a tradition where every Sunday morning he goes out with his wife to a little breakfast place where they each have a mug on the wall, which he takes much pride in. He just likes to spend quality time with his wife and their English bulldog named Mimi. 

Mr. Keyzer moved to West Milford about two years ago after he went to a deli and ran into Maz, another one of the football coaches here at West Milford. They somewhat knew each other because, at the time, Keyzer was coaching Football at Lakeland. They met and were instantly friends who started to work out together.  Maz had mentioned an opening spot here at West Milford, Keyzer thought it would be wise to live in the district for this particular job to be more a part of the community, which was very significant to him as a teacher and coach. He started the application process and quickly fell in love with the area. He loves being a part of the community in any way he can. 

As mentioned before, Keyzer is a special education teacher, and when working with students here, his favorite thing about the job is that every day is different. All the kids are great. Each child has his or her own distinct personality. Each day seeing his students in the morning brings him a lot of joy. Patience is very important in this particular field. There are frustrating times, but his advice is always to remember to take a deep breath, and consider that something that is frustrating to us is definitely more frustrating for some students. While he loves his job here at West Milford High School, his dream job would be chef or a food judge on a food network. He says, “I am very into my food”, especially his favorite breakfast food of a taylor ham and egg with salt, pepper, and ketchup on a WHOLE GRAIN everything toasted roll, or his favorite dessert of cannoli with an espresso. 

Keyzer has a lot of people that he admires; however, someone who really motivated him everyday is Jaime Haftek-Shopshear, a Lakeland Regional High School Special Services teacher. Ms. Haftek-Shopshear was a huge influence on Keyser to go into the special education field due to her style and her passion for the subject area.  Her beliefs and efforts really impacted him and made him want to do just as well in his own professional career. Keyzer is dedicated to everything he does, and it is amazing to see how patient he is. It’s crazy to watch him go from a patient school teacher to multi-sport coach with just a change of the outfit and another cup of coffee.  If you get a chance, stop by to say hello to this new addition to the Highlander staff!