“My mission is to help high school students have a great year to look back and appreciate.”
While teaching may be a second career for Bishop Kelley volleyball coach, Russ Hembrey, it is one that suits him well.
Coach Hembrey, who played varsity volleyball at University of Kansas, began his first career in video production in Kansas and then moved to Tulsa with Cox Communications. A big University of Kansas fan, he found the transition to Oklahoma not nearly as worrisome as was his move to Kansas intra-state rival Kansas State. “As a Kansas grad, I had a harder time with the move to Manhattan than I did to Oklahoma,” Russ said. He now considers himself a fan of good games, no matter which teams are playing.
He began helping with youth volleyball programs in the Tulsa/Broken Arrow area when his daughters, now a high school senior at BKHS and a college freshman at St. Louis University, were younger. He enjoyed working with teens so he took an assistant volleyball coaching position at Bishop Kelley. He then got an alternative teaching certificate in journalism. Bishop Kelley’s girls’ volleyball team has been to the state tournament every year Hembrey has coached there and has won state two times.
Hembrey currently teaches all the media classes at BKHS and is the advisor for both the Bishop Kelley Crest yearbook and The Breezeway online newspaper.
As participants at the 2015 Oklahoma Scholastic Media Institute (OSMI) prepared to learn some videography skills, Russ (seated below) demonstrated his professionalism in videography and love for teaching as he helped fellow attendees, Amy Gilmore from Inola High School (left) and Derrick Miller from Duncan High School (center) below.
Because of Hembrey’s dedication to teaching he was in Norman this week-end for the Oklahoma Scholastic Media Initiative grant workshop. As a recipient of an OSMI online newspaper improvement grant, Russ will receive $3,500 to use as he determines to best serve his media students and the Bishop Kelley High School’s The Breezeway online newspaper.