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Mon, Sept. 16

New Camp Verde principal knows campus well

Jaclyn Campbell delivers the morning announcements over Camp Verde Elementary’s sound system. at Camp Verde Elementary School from 2005 to 2010 on a recent day. Campbell is the school’s new principal, and has her sights on the school rating as an A-school, she said. VVN/Bill Helm

Jaclyn Campbell delivers the morning announcements over Camp Verde Elementary’s sound system. at Camp Verde Elementary School from 2005 to 2010 on a recent day. Campbell is the school’s new principal, and has her sights on the school rating as an A-school, she said. VVN/Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE – Jaclyn Campbell remembers the third grade as the time she first knew she wanted to become an educator.

“Mrs. Wetzel made learning incredibly fun,” said Campbell, Camp Verde Elementary’s new principal. “She would dress up in different outfits on Fridays. She was a neat lady.”

Although she grew up in Flagstaff – and graduated from Northern Arizona University – Campbell began her teaching career in 2005 at Camp Verde Elementary. Her principalship at Camp Verde is a homecoming of sorts.

“When I found out about this opening, I knew that it was something I really needed to apply for,” Campbell said. “When I taught here, this school influenced me and inspired me. It’s this school where I learned to be a teacher.”

Camp Verde Administrator-in-Charge Danny Howe said he knew Campbell was the right fit to lead the elementary school as he interviewed her.

“She’s organized, energetic, caring, and loves students and staff,” Howe said.

After teaching at Camp Verde Elementary from 2005-2010, Campbell moved on to Phoenix-area schools where she worked as a reading specialist, assistant principal, then principal.

A year ago, Campbell became an education program specialist for Arizona Department of Education’s Northern Arizona region in Flagstaff.

“I loved that position. But a part of me missed the staff I see every day, that group of people that is constant,” Campbell said. “And I missed the kids.”

A month-plus on the job, and with school having started on Aug. 5, Campbell said that Camp Verde Elementary “feels incredibly unique and special.”

“You feel the positivity. You feel welcomed,” Campbell said. “There’s a whole lot of heart here.”

It’s not just a feel-good story for Camp Verde Elementary’s new principal. According to Campbell, her school should be an A-school.

“We have the right people, the right students, the right teachers, the right community to be an A-school,” Campbell said. “This school is a gem.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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