Congrats to Woodie Flowers Winner DAVID KELSO!

Congrats! Proof that the Unsung FIRST Heroes paves the way!

Congratulations to Dave Kelso! I was watching the 11:00 news (WMUR) here in NH and it was on the news that you won the award. It was a nice little story, a little short but it was nice to see them give you the coverage!

Congrats, Kelso. It’s good to see some old-timers win it :slight_smile:

The more I see this award, the more I think of it as an “innovation in mentoring” award. The bar has been raised, my friends!

I could’t imagine anyone deserving this award more than David Kelso. As a close friend and former student, I have had the direct pleasure of working with him, learning from him, and seeing just why he is thee most influential mentor out there. I owe a whole lot to Mr. K. Over the last eight years, he has been someone whom I’ve always looked up to. His advice has continually led me in the right direction, and time after time he has been there for me for anything. And as cliche as some of that sounds, I have dozens and dozens of examples to prove it. I have seen so many people positively affected by Mr. K’s personality that I can’t even begin to imagine how many lives he has changed.
Dave Kelso is incredibly deserving of this recognition, and may he be an example for everyone to follow. I can’t imagine where I’d be without him.
You truly are the man Mr K,

P.S. I can’t believe its been three years since I’ve posted here :eek: !

Congratulations, Dave! You are still one of the nicest guys I have ever met in FIRST. You were my favorite to win it this year, so I can’t argue with the decision of the judges. Hopefully I’ll see you again at a future competition so I can congratulate you in person.

Congratulations Dave. You truly deserve this award. When I saw that you received the award at the regional level, I picked you to win it at the Championship. I have heard many, many great things about what you have done. Congratulations.


A few days before we went to Atlanta, Woodie asked for input from the other Woodie Flowers Award winners with regard to who should be the 2004 Championshio WFA winner. We all gave him opinions. Combining those opinions with their thoughts, he and Dr. Murphy focused on Dave as the winner. Then, Woodie asked us our opinions about Dave to verify their choice. Here was my reply:


The choice of Dave Kelso for the 2004 Woodie Flowers Award is great. He is a extremely deserving cornerstone of the FIRST community. Honestly, Dave is the mentor, father, and husband I want to be when I get to be his age.

To the rest of you who might not know Dave Kelso…

Here are 2 stories about Dave and his team:

In 2001, team 131 attended the Championships in Florida, but did not compete. They spent all of their time volunteering at the Einstein field. “They” included Dave, Nancy Kelso, and about 10 CHAOS (team 131) students. Yes… Dave, his wife, and 10 high school kids were there and did not compete. They volunteered. That was very impressive to me. They even handed out “team awards” to other teams. We got a “Gracious Professionalism” award from them. To me, that is very ironic.

Another story: I was talking with Dave last year in Houston, and asked him how his team was doing. He was frustrated that they had trouble with keeping a sponsor (very familiar to team 27, btw) and his current sponsor could not send any mentors to Houston. I was complaining that I had too many mentors and not enough students on our team. We compared notes, and realized that we had the same number of students, 18, in Houston. However, team 45 had 17 mentors while 131 had 2: Dave and Nancy.

Dave has been in this 11 years. While there may be a few other candidates who convey technical aspects better than Dave, I consider no one more deserving. At least, that is my opinion. Here’s to Dave Kelso!



Congratulations. I want to be like you when I grow up. :slight_smile:

Andy Baker

What can I say. This has been a long time coming.
You definitely deserve it! Every interaction I’ve had with you just reinforces that. I only wish I could have found you Saturday evening to congratulate you in person.

Way to bring the bearing back to the north east. :wink:

Dave Kelso,

I cannot think of anyone who deserved this honor above you. You are a jewel in the FIRST world. You should be proud of how many lifes you have touched and changed for the better with your involvement in the program. All of us Clarksonites stuck in Potsdam watching the Webcast cheered so loud when you won, we were excited a man as wonderful as you recieved the honor you have so long deserved. Thank you for all the wonderful work you have done for this program, and thank you for keeping the CHAOS alive. FIRST would be lost without people like you holding it together. Spirit and Determination is the glue that holds this program in place year after year, and you are what inspires that spirit and determination in many NH teams. Keep up the good work!

Congratulations!!! :smiley:

Congratulations Dave!

Thank you for all you do! I enjoyed meeting you this past year at RiverRage.

Mr. Kelso-

Congratulations for such well-deserved recognition! I hope you enjoy the notoriety!

Every time I saw Mr. Kelso this past weekend he was in his volunteer shirt working diligently on something that was important to FIRST.


I congratulated you in person right after you won but I don’t see any problem in making the congratulations public.

Frankly, I think the part of the Championship I was mosted excited about was the Woody Flowers Award as I knew you were nominated. There isn’t a person I think that deserves it more.

Hopefully people will congratulate the right person now though. :wink:


Congrats Mr. Kelso,

Mr. Kelso you have had an incredible impact on my life (and I am only a soph.). I first met Mr. Kelso when I was in 7th grade, I was attending one of the FIRST Place camps (Mr. Kelso was donating parts of his summer to helping) and than I saw him again during the summer between my 8th grade year and my freshman year. At this point I was still not sure if I was going to go to West (the powerknights 501) or central (CHAOS 131).

I have to say that the only reason I decided to go to central over west was because of the Kelso family. They gave me a CHAOS Tshirt and welcomed me onto the team.

Mr. Kelso has been an incredible mentor and friend; he donates so much time and energy into being the best he can be. I could imagine my FIRST experience without him. He truly deserves this award!

Congrats Dave, and thanks for reminding me to grab some safety glasses before heading out to the field :slight_smile:

To the FIRST Community:

 I am humbled after receiving this award. There are many that need to be thanked that helped me reach this point.  First of all, they say that there is a woman behind every successful man. In my case, there are two.  Thanks to my wife, Nancy, who has never questioned (out loud) the time nor effort that I have invested with my team.  In fact, after watching me do this for several years, she joined me as a team advisor several years ago. Kristen Kelso, my daughter, has inspired me as much as she will claim that I have inspired her. It is a well-known fact that I will brag about her accomplishments before mine. (By the way, she will appear on the new episodes of ZOOM as a FIRST LEGO Mentor in a few weeks).
 My team members have always come through. I believe we have success because we are made up of individuals with different skills but we all have FIRST as a common factor. Thank you for writing the nomination.  Without our sponsors, Rockwell Automation and BAE Systems, C.H.A.O.S. would be another team that “bit the dust”.
 After 11 years, I still look forward to “next year”.  This is due to the fun activities that we take part in, enthusiasm of my team, the team alumni who keep visiting and the friends that I have made from teams around the country. Receiving the Woodie Flowers Award makes you want to do even more. I highly respect the previous awardees; they set the bar so high, I hope that I can reach it! Though this appears to be an award for an individual, I think it is a team award.   
 Thanks to the “Keepers of the Delphi Board” the best form of communication in the FIRST Community. We must all thank the multitude of volunteers who do some very difficult tasks hour after hour during competitions while we go ‘out and play”.  They have earned our respect. During the Championship, I communicated with so many college kids who are so excited about FIRST; there are so many tremendous leaders ready to bring FIRST to even higher levels. 
  Thank you all for your kind comments, may we meet again near a 24’X48’ piece of carpet.  :)