The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution this week to rename the Wilson High rally stage after beloved former principal and activities director Keith Hansen. Hansen died suddenly and unexpectedly in December.
“I’m honored to recommend the approval for this,” said LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker. “(Keith) was a familiar face and friend to so many of us in our community. Keith’s passing was a tremendous loss in our community in so many ways.”
After retirement from a long career of service in the LBUSD, Hansen continued his work serving students as a president and dedicated volunteer with the Long Beach Century Club. But his claim to fame, he always joked, was in advocating for and building the rally stage at Wilson, the first rally stage at an LBUSD high school.
“There is no doubt that Keith’s favorite job was being an activities director,” said his wife, Carol Hansen. “There was nothing like seeing him on that stage in his cardinal and gold … holding the microphone and getting the crowd fired up.”
Friends of Hansen were on hand to support the resolution, with longtime Wilson teacher Brad Rudy saying he wouldn’t be a teacher without Hansen’s guidance.
Rudy said the Century Club raised $25,000 in Hansen’s honor after his passing, which will go to benefit LBUSD student-athletes, as well as to offset any cost in printing a plaque to rename the Keith Hansen Rally Stage at Wilson.
“He’s missed by a lot of us, but his name will live on if you approve this,” said John Fylpaa, a past Century Club president and friend of Rudy’s.
The resolution passed unanimously 4-0 with board member Doug Otto not in attendance.