VWSD assistant superintendent adjusts to new community
Published 12:52 am Sunday, March 23, 2014
A month into the job, Assistant Superintendent David Campbell is settling into his new position and community.
Campbell, who was hired in February, will oversee secondary curriculum, the alternative school and special programs. Previously, he was principal of Byram Middle School in Hinds County Public School District from which Superintendent Chad Shealy came.
The Belzoni native joins Assistant Superintendent Paula Johnson, who oversees elementary curriculum and professional development.
“It was very exciting to find out I’d gotten the position,” he said. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve met a lot of hard-working people — teachers and administrators.”
Campbell, now in his 23rd year in education, said his upbringing dictates his approach to education.
“Being from the home of a pastor and school teacher, I think all of my decisions are based on fairness,” he said.
Shealy said Campbell was an exciting prospect to fill the position because of his history improving any school. While he was principal at Rowan Middle School, the downtown Jackson school received the Mississippi Blue Ribbon status after seeing a 26 percent jump in student achievement
“In every place he’s been, he’s done well. He’s been at a Blue Ribbon School and he’s been able to make that happen in areas that it shouldn’t,” Shealy said.
Campbell began his career as a teacher at Rowan before being named principal.
In 2000, he moved to Byram Middle School, where he spent the previous 13 years. While in Byram, Campbell served as executive director of the Mississippi Association for Middle Level Education, an organization representing administrators and teachers for sixth through ninth grades.
Campbell said being exposed to different philosophies and approaches has helped him grow as an educator.
“With that responsibility, I’ve had a chance to do a lot of professional development … That has given me a unique perspective,” he said.
Shealy said Campbell’s experience with Common Core State Standards — a set of curriculum standards set to be implemented statewide next school year — will be beneficial for the 8,500-student Vicksburg Warren School District.
“He’s also well-versed in Common Core State Standards. There’s not a lot of people that have that kind of experience.”
Campbell said his background, having grown up in a rural Mississippi Delta community and also having taught in downtown Jackson, has given him insight into dealing with a wide array of issues.
“I think all of my experience has brought me to this point,” he said.
Since arriving, Campbell said he has been impressed with the passion of the community and its support of the local school district.
“I think one of the most unique things I’ve seen is the community support. The sheer number of people who talk about the importance of supporting the district has been amazing,” he said.
Campbell has a bachelor’s degree of elementary education, an administrative degree and a master’s from Mississippi College. He has been married to Lawanda for 23 years, with whom he has a daughter, Dayla, 15, and a son, Ellis, 13.
He said both will be attending Warren Central High School next year.