Effie Keen Retires After 24 Years with SFCC
After 24 years of service to South Florida Community College, Effie Keen, director, DeSoto Campus is retiring in December. Keen began her career at SFCC in 1984, as DeSoto Campus coordinator, when it was located in a small store front in a shopping center on Highway 17.
“We had three classrooms and were not computerized,” Keen said. “We kept manual registration forms in shoeboxes, and we would joke about sending smoke signals to get in touch with the Highlands Campus.”
Keen saw working at the DeSoto Campus as an opportunity to give back to the community she grew up in. As a fifth generation DeSoto County resident, she saw the need for the college in the county. “We had a small staff and faculty, and we all did multiple tasks, but the student growth over the years encouraged building a new campus and really showed we were needed.”
Keen says that working with students has been the most satisfying part of her job at SFCC. “The students are the only reason we exist. It’s rewarding and enjoyable to see the progress and growth they make.”
Keen will miss the students and staff the most, but she will also miss the professional growth from continually being challenged. She plans to remain in DeSoto County, but will travel when the opportunity arises. She’ll also spend more time with her four children and 10 grandchildren. “I will attend their activities and be a full part of their lives.”
A retirement reception for Keen will be held Thursday, Dec. 2, 3-5 p.m., at the SFCC DeSoto Campus.