Hoopeston's new principal eager to be 'involved'

Hoopeston's new principal eager to be 'involved'

HOOPESTON — A West Chicago educator with 17 years of experience said he's eager to lead Hoopeston High School.

Marc Campbell, most recently principal of Leman Middle School in the Chicago suburbs, was tapped recently to succeed Larry Maynard, who takes over as superintendent of the Potomac school district this month.

Campbell will earn a base salary of $94,000 under his one-year contract. His official start date is Aug. 1, but new Hoopeston schools Superintendent Suzi Hesser said he has already started getting acclimated to the district and Hoopeston community.

Hesser said she and her predecessor — Superintendent Hank Hornbeck, who retired at the end of June — felt that Campbell stood out among the other candidates because of his depth of experience, professionalism, positive attitude and passion for education and student success.

"He has experience with programs we already have and will continue to pursue," Hesser said. "He also has experience in areas that we want to improve in — such as credit remediation and planning for multiple paths to and after graduation — and the ability to bring fresh ideas to the district."

Campbell, who grew up in Bourbonnais, earned a bachelor's degree in accountancy from Northern Illinois University and worked in corporate accounting for six years before deciding upon a career change.

"I realized it wasn't the right fit for me," said Campbell, the son of a junior high school principal and fifth-grade teacher.

"There was always an interest working with kids, teaching and coaching," continued Campbell, who enjoyed coaching his son's athletic teams. "So I decided to go back to school and get a master's in teaching."

Campbell earned the degree from Aurora University, then taught seventh- and eighth-grade science and coached for eight years, mainly at Heritage Grove Middle School in Plainfield. After earning another master's — in educational administration — from Governor's State, he served as an assistant principal for six years.

He served as Leman Middle School's principal for the last three years.

Campbell, who is completing a doctorate in educational leadership at Aurora, said he's looking forward to taking on a leadership position at the high school level and in "a more rural community as compared to where I am now."

"It's where I've always envisioned myself," he said. "I felt that the Hoopeston district is really progressive in its one-to-one technology. It has a lot of good programs and policies that I'm familiar with, such as student-led conferences and the PBIS program. All of those things interested me in being part of the school district and the community."

Campbell said he's looking forward to getting to know the staff, students and families "and making sure the school year gets off to a positive start and things go smoothly.

He also plans to get to know other community entities he'll be working with on a regular basis, as well as local organizations.

"I plan to be fully involved," he said.

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