Kristen Campbell was unanimously chosen as our next superintendent by the East Penn school board Monday night. Mrs. Campbell is a fantastic choice to lead our district in the coming years, and our community is enormously fortunate to have someone with her experience, judgment, temperament, commitment to public education, and willingness to take on this difficult job.
I first met Mrs. Campbell as the school principal the first year my daughter began attending Lincoln Elementary School. Two things impressed me about her leadership at the time. First was her direct commitment to the kids and families of the school. Principals have a tough job managing personnel, budgets, bureaucratic mandates, the everyday crises that come up in any school, and so forth. But in addition to doing all of this well, she also knew the names of everyone, kids and parents alike, and was visible, approachable, and engaged with the community. The second thing that impressed me was how much the teachers at Lincoln liked her. She was known to be fair, to be a good listener, and to be willing to make tough decisions.
In the last several years, I’ve again had the opportunity to get to know Mrs. Campbell again, this time as an Assistant Superintendent of the district. Here I’ve been impressed with two additional qualities she brings to our community. First is her collaborative approach to leadership. In both word and deed, she has demonstrated her commitment to decision-making through relationship- and consensus-building. The second is her creative problem-solving. She is always on the lookout for new ideas, the experiences of other districts and administrators, and the expertise of other staff members that can help solve problems in innovative ways. She put both these qualities to work in bringing full-day kindergarten to the district over the last several years. Doing so required navigating a complex set of educational, budgetary, personnel, and public relations issues. I believe her stewardship of that initiative gives us a window into how she will lead the district as a whole.
Mrs. Campbell has over two decades of experience in our district, at all levels. She lives here in the district and her kids go to school in the district. Her track record of accomplishment in education coupled with her personal and professional commitment to our community make her an ideal choice for superintendent.