The Roanoker - July/August 2020 - 49

These three teachers combined
have over 100 years worth of experience what keeps them coming back each year?

T

his September, I will attend the 50th
reunion of Andrew L ewis High
School's class of 1970. In all probability,
most attendees will have retired, and I
will likely be one of the few that hasn't.
Actually, I've never really stopped going
to school. As after college, for the
past 46 years I've taught high school
English at one school or another - the past 31 at Lord Botetourt.
More than a few may be thinking right now that " with kids
these days the way they are, " I must be crazy. The truth is that
the vast majority of students " these days " are wonderful young
people. And at age 68, I truly love what I do and look forward to
this fall for what my students can teach me and how I can help
them become lifetime learners. At least two more area teachers
feel the same way.

Fred
CAMPBELL
Salem High School

COURTESY OF FRED CAMPBELL

Sixty-year-old Fred Campbell taught for four years for Roanoke
City, spent three years as a substitute while attaining his masters
and performing as a standup comedian and is about to begin his
31st year at Salem High School. Why is he still teaching?
" Where else could I go where I would get paid to talk every
day about the things I love: great novels, short stories and poetry, "
says the English teacher. " Plus, I get to read what my students
TheRoanoker.com

feel about all these things.
When young people find
something in a piece of
literature that they can really
latch on to, great moments
can happen just about every
day. "
Over the years, Campbell
says that he has experienced
many of these sublime
moments. Certainly one of
them was when his Salem
High School Academic Team
FRED CAMPBELL
won the state Scholastic Bowl
in 2003. A " great continuing
moment, " he says has been his association with the school's
literary magazine.
" I've been able to build relationships with not only a long line
of great young people, but also with community members who
support these students and contribute money to their writing
and art work, " he says.
Campbell adds that another gratifying part of his career has
been nurturing so many accomplished young writers. One of the
premier ones is former student Eric McMillian, who graduated
from Salem in 1995, became a captain in the U.S. Army, and
then sold short stories; his first novel will appear this year. Allie
Hoback is another, currently working on her Master of Fine Arts
in poetry from Syracuse University, and has published several
poems.
" When I see young people come in with that spark and passion
to become great writers, then see them develop into ones ... well,
what could be better? " Campbell says.
JULY/AUGUST 2020 49


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