I am honored to be the Superintendent of Kalamazoo RESA, as Kalamazoo is widely known to be a forward-thinking community with a strong commitment to educating children very well. I decided to become an educator because I knew from my own experiences the significant impact educators could have on young people. It may sound cliché to say that educators shape the future, but it is true. After receiving wonderful educational opportunities, challenges, and encouragements from my family, teachers, directors, coaches, and a bus driver, I knew that I wanted to commit my life to trying to give students those type of experiences. After teaching students social studies at the middle school and high school level for a little over three years, I sought administrative positions as I saw the potential to positively impact the culture of a school, district, and community by being in leadership. Over twenty-five years later, I not only see the potential, but have seen the reality of positive school cultures greatly helping students fulfill their potential. I am proud to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with our constituent schools, institutions of higher education, community organizations, and employers in order to position our students to be ready for the competitive global economy they are entering. Their world is far different than the one most adults entered years ago and Kalamazoo RESA has been and will continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of our students, schools, and communities.
I was raised in Pewaukee, Wisconsin and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where I studied history and social studies. I taught middle and high school students history and government in Waukesha, Wisconsin and Bradley Central Junior High School in Bradley, Illinois. I also coached basketball, track, drove a school bus, and coordinated field trips for my students. In 1991, I led a program for urban and rural teenagers living in poverty for Kankakee Community College and became Dean of Students/Athletic Director of Bradley Central. I earned my master's degree in educational leadership from Illinois State University in 1992. I also earned 21 graduate credits beyond my master's degree in school leadership from Western Michigan University. I served as the high school principal in Olivet for eight years and eleven as superintendent. It has always been my goal to give students hope and the tools needed to fulfill their dreams and potential. With an amazing team of people, we were able to make Olivet a great place to be a student and educator. We developed numerous partnerships with Olivet College, the Calhoun Intermediate School District and Battle Creek Schools to offer a broad range of options for our students in an effort to give them the knowledge and skills to build and sustain their hope for a bright future despite a vastly changing global economy. In 2011, I became the superintendent of the Livingston Educational Service Agency in Howell. Service agencies (also known as Intermediate School Districts) provide a natural fit for someone who is interested in helping develop collaborative partnerships between educational institutions, non-profits, and the business community. Being the Superintendent of Kalamazoo RESA is a dream come true for professional and personal reasons. My wife, Kathy, is a librarian and I have a daughter who is an actuary in Chicago, and a daughter who is a research technician at Charles River Laboratories (formerly MPI).
I am very involved with my professional association, the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA) and other state-level committees and commissions. I have always had a keen interest in government and policy and how they can positively impact people when developed and applied wisely. I have advocated for many reforms over the years to help make schools more relevant for students who are entering an economy that is vastly different than the one that made Michigan the envy of the world. Our students need a higher level of knowledge, skill, and character than was required in the past. Schools play a key role in that development in partnership with families.
I am so impressed with the staff at Kalamazoo RESA and how they perform their jobs with high levels of skill and passion. Kalamazoo RESA is a leader among Educational Service Agencies/Intermediate School Districts in our state and has numerous assets upon which to build a great future for the children in our county.
I hope you explore our website and become familiar with the positive impact Kalamazoo RESA is having on young people in our service area.
I look forward to working with you.
Dave Campbell, Superintendent