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What I Do:

I help inspire people to launch SEL programs, provide best practices for developing strong SEL programs, and train teachers to teach SEL skills in engaging and effective ways.

My Mission:

My mission is to make sure every student gets an engaging and collaborative high quality social and emotional learning based seminar that is taught by a dedicated, passionate, trained, and supported teacher within a positive class climate. I have seen the impact of this practice first hand and have observed it replicated at other schools. I intend to yell this message from the rooftops until it is a national practice.


R. Keeth Matheny, AKA “Coach Rudy,” is a national award-winning teacher, author, and speaker. He is the 2021 Mary Utne O’Brien Award Winner for excellence in expanding the evidence-based practice of social and emotional learning. He also was the 2015 winner of the Crystal Star Award for Excellence in supporting student success from the National Dropout Prevention Center. In addition, he was a member of the Aspen Institute’s SEAD Council of Distinguished Educators and supported the creation of their “A Nation at Hope” report. Keeth is the founder of SEL Launchpad, an organization that provides engaging, inspiring, and actionable professional development to help launch and support SEL programs. Keeth is a passionate and dedicated former classroom teacher with over 25 years of experience. He created and taught an innovative freshman SEL seminar which was featured in an article in The Atlantic, and has now spread to many more schools and districts. Keeth is a co-author of School-Connect, a research and evidence-based social and emotional learning curriculum which is used in over two thousand secondary schools. He is a frequent keynote speaker on SEL, emotional intelligence, and multi-tiered systems of student supports. In March 2020, with the help of his son, a filmmaker, he created free SEL video lessons for remote teachers to use during spring school closures.


These videos had over 100,000 users from more than a dozen countries. Since 2014, he has helped launch over four hundred SEL programs in secondary schools, led over three hundred teacher trainings, keynoted for eighteen conferences, and presented at two congressional briefings on Social and Emotional Learning in Washington DC. Keeth lives in Austin Texas with his wife of 25yrs and is the father of two children.

Recent Keynotes and featured sessions:

  • 2019 SEL in Texas Schools Keynote
  • 2019 El Paso SAFE Conference Keynote
  • 2021CFC national webinar SEL and mental health
  • 2020 Florida diagnostic and learning resources system (Fdlrs) fall keynote
  • (2018-21) Ventura county office of ed community of practice Keynote
  • 2019 Texas Rural Educators Keynote
  • 2019 Texas Association of School Psychologists Keynote and Pre‑Conference Workshop
  • 2020 Texas association of school boards SEL workshop
  • 2021 CASEL national webinar with former students
  • 2021 Trumbull county leadership retreat keynote