EAST PENN SCHOOL DISTRICT
The East Penn Board of School Directors introduced Assistant Superintendent Kristen Campbell as the second of two final candidates they are considering to fill the shoes of departing school Superintendent Dr. Michael Schilder.
The event was chaired by Board President Alan Earnshaw who encouraged members of the public and media to ask the candidate questions.
Campbell began the discussion saying she has been in the East Penn School District for 23 years, beginning as a teacher in 1995 at Shoemaker Elementary School. After teaching for eight years, she moved to assistant principal at Lower Macungie Middle School.
Campbell then served as principal at Lincoln Elementary School for five years.
She then moved to the position of assisting then Superintendent Dr. Thomas Seidenberger in re-districting, leading community forums, closing Lower Macungie Elementary School and opening Willow Lane Elementary School.
In her role of assistant superintendent for the district now, Campbell is focused on kindergarten through grade 12 education working with 10 principals. She is responsible for the implementation of the technology plan, the expansion of full-day kindergarten and the expansion of community partnerships for the district.
Sal Verrastro, president of the East Penn School District Education Foundation, asked Campbell’s thoughts on the foundation and what her role would be in the foundation should she be chosen as the next superintendent.
Campbell said she appreciates the foundation supporting education and benefitting the students in the district.
“I know you have worked hard and have done amazing things with the teacher mini-grants,” Campbell said.
“I want to be a part of the foundation board and work alongside you.”
The Rev. Waldemar “Wally” Vinovskis, a parent in the district and former board member, asked what she might be able to do as superintendent she is unable to do as assistant superintendent. He also asked how she saw herself adapting to the superintendent position.
Campbell said her leadership style will allow her to lead change within the district by having a genuinely open and honest relationship with students, teachers, parents and administrators.
“I thrive on being in classrooms, visioning and brainstorming in meetings,” Campbell said. “I realize I may not be able to do all of these visits but we must maintain regular connections with students. I will continue to develop a strong leadership team. My goal will be to remain connected to kids, parents, teachers and the classroom.”
Campbell said she is looking forward to maintaining relationships with internal partnerships and have a greater network of external partnerships including political and business leaders.
“I want to establish more community partnerships,” Campbell said.
Campbell said she is also a supporter of working with the student leadership groups. “I believe it is a great opportunity to join some of those conversations to learn what we are doing well and what we can do better.”
Campbell also said she would like to include the students in the administrative side of the district.
Parent Christopher DeJohn asked about Campbell’s involvement with the infrastructure, facilities and capital budgeting.
“We have challenges still, for example, we have an auditorium that can’t hold one grade,” Campbell said.
She said she has been a part of budgeting and has learned how to balance priorities with financial constraints.
Parent Jill Killo asked what accomplishment Campbell is most proud of, to which Campbell replied, “full day kindergarten for our youngest learners. It really is the right program for them — to have a quality education early.” She said she worked with an incredible, knowledgeable team of teachers and parents over 18 months ....to see the program to fruition.”
Campbell thanked everyone who attended for their interest in the school district and the candidates. “I hope you keep your level of involvement,” Campbell said.
knew in the audience, she said it has been a pleasure working along side of them.
Earnshaw said he would not discuss the next steps in the interview process. The public will see the board’s choice on a future meeting agenda for approval.