Columbia County's 2003 Teacher of the Year is leaving the classroom to become an assistant principal at Lakeside High School.
"It was an offer I couldn't turn down," said Greenbrier High School science teacher Kevin Brian Campbell, who won the county's top honor and then went on to become one of 12 Georgia Teacher of the Year semifinalist. "Part of my job description is that I will be in charge of student activities. I was afraid by being an assistant principal I was going to lose contact with the students, and that's the part of the job I enjoy the most."
Campbell, 29, teaches college preparatory biology and advanced placement biology. A five-year classroom veteran, Campbell had planned to use his reign as the county's Teacher of the Year to encourage preparation and support for new teachers, something he knows a lot about.
While in college, Campbell was in a pre-medical program until his senior year, when he decided to go into teaching. But after he had realized his dream to enter the classroom, he almost didn't make it.
"I just know how it was my first year; it was horrible," Campbell has said. "That first-year teacher needs all the support they can get."
But Lakeside High School Principal Jeff Carney believes that same determination can be better served in an administrative office.
"One of the reasons I picked him is because he is so strong in instruction, plus he has a lot of experience with academic boosters and is student oriented," said Carney.
Carney said beginning an academic boosters club at Lakeside will be a top priority next year, which is an organization Campbell started last year at Greenbrier.
"This is going to be under the umbrella of the PTSO (Parent Teacher and Student Organization). It will be a way to recognize students who are already achieving A's and B's, and for those students who are trying to improve," Campbell said. "We want to recognize everyone from teachers to custodial staff. It's a whole new way to give recognition to people who deserve it."
The administrative opening at Lakeside is a result of Associate Principal Joe Impink's plans to retire-mid year. Impink, who has been at Lakeside since it opened 14 years ago and is the school's registrar, will be replaced by Assistant Principal Becky Barden, creating an opening for an assistant principal.
Carney said Campbell will work on improving the school's technology until the position opens mid-year.
Campbell is currently studying at Georgia College and State University to earn his education specialist degree.
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