Lauren and Keith Wilkinson at Lincoln Elementary

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Father and daughter Keith and Lauren Wilkinson enjoy getting to work together as teachers in the Aberdeen Public School District—and they especially enjoy that their students get to work together, too.

Lauren said the best part of working with her dad has been bringing her elementary students together for activities with his high school students, creating their own community.


“I really enjoy bringing my students up to the high school to have some cool experiences with the older students,” said Lauren, a SPED Enrich Teacher at Lincoln Elementary School.


Keith, a Social Studies Teacher at Central High School, agreed that bringing their students together has been a great experience.


“Talk about role models,” he said. “I think that the older kids see that now, too—the impact that they can have on each younger kid. I think that's really neat.”


Lauren just finished her second year with the school district.


“I love the job,” she said. “Just seeing them grow and learn something new or gain a new skill is the best part. It’s so cool.”


When she chose to go into teaching, she said, her dad was very supportive and helpful. Keith said it was a moment of pride for him when she became a teacher—the profession is a perfect fit, he said, with her caring attitude and patience.


“I am super proud of her,” he said.


Keith, who just finished his 18th year with the district, said he decided to become a teacher after finishing his service in the Army. He happened to be listening to an interactive Billy Joel concert where audience members asked questions.


“One of the questions they asked: ‘If he wasn't singing, what would he be doing?’” Keith said. “He said, ‘I'd be a history teacher.’”


Keith decided to be one as well—a career he enjoys to this day. (And he added that one of Lauren’s favorite songs is Joel’s “We Didn't Start the Fire,” which is basically a history song.)


Teaching isn’t the only job they share. They also own a local business together, Roll-Out Bike Rentals at Wylie Park, and they play softball together.


Working together, they do sometimes find themselves talking about work outside of school.


“We focus on the positive,” Keith said. “We let each other tell our positive stories. To me, that’s more uplifting.”


For other parents and children teaching together, the Wilkinsons’ advice is to go with the flow, be creative and take advantage of the moments where you can work together.

“And in the end, it's about the kids—what we can do for them,” Keith said. “It really is.”

About the Aberdeen Public School District


The Aberdeen Public School District provides a comprehensive educational program to approximately 4,200 students in grades K-12, with a mission of empowering all students to succeed in a changing world. Our students receive the knowledge and skills necessary to reach their potential in a global community through high expectations of academic achievement; diverse educational opportunities; and community involvement in a safe, supportive environment. Learn more at