Athens Review, Athens, Texas

August 2, 2013

Two hired to AISD curriculum positions

Both experienced, one former Bel Air Elementary principal

Jeff Riggs
The Athens Review

Athens — The Athens Independent School District Coordinators of Elementary and Secondary Curriculum and Instruction have been hired. One is a former principal of Bel Air Elementary for the past eight years, and one entered employment with Athens Independent School District when his position became available.

Renee Campbell, 49, was hired as the Coordinator of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction.  She was most recently principal at Bel Air Elementary, a position she held for the past eight years. That position will now be assumed by Bel Air Elementary Assistant Principal Rosalee Dennis.

Prior to that position, Campbell was principal at R.C. Fisher 6th grade center.  She also was assistant principal at South Athens Elementary when she came to Athens in 1997.

In addition, she taught at Garland schools for 12 years prior to her Athens employment.

Campbell, who has been in her latest position for the past two weeks. She is positive about the experience.

“I’m very excited, because I’ll be able to support the three elementary schools in their curriculums, and support the principals,” she said. “I’ll also be helping the teachers.”

She is married to Owen Campbell.  They have three children, including Alie, a sixth-grader at Athens Middle School, and Sarah, 20, who is a student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.  Son Shane, 24, is a graduate of Texas Tech in Lubbock.

Her hopes appear to parallel the future envisioned by AISD Superintendent Blake Stiles.

“Mr. Stiles has assembled a team with a shared vision for the school district,” Campbell said. “It’s a team that’s committed to improving the district, and we are committed to the long-term growth while we are here.”

Speaking of herself and her colleague, Matt Caffey, the new Coordinator of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, she was positive.

“We are both committed to the community. We have families here, and we want to stick with it, and get where we need to be,” she said.

Campbell received her Bachelor of Arts from University of Texas in Austin in 1986, and received her Masters in Educational Administration at Texas A&M Commerce in 1996. She received her Superintendent’s Certification at University of Texas Tyler.  She is also a graduate of North Garland High School.

Matt Caffey, who is 32, was hired as District Coordinators of Elementary and Secondary Curriculum and Instruction. He said he wants to “raise the rigor of the curriculum.”

“We want to prepare students for the 21st Century, and prepare them for the technology and skills that awaits them,” he said. “AISD is at a critical turning point.  We are moving forward. We want AISD to be the schools of choice.”

Caffey said both he and Campbell believe in Superintendent Stiles and his hopes for the district.  Caffey also believes having children attending classes in the district, as is the case for himself and Campbell, is important for people working to improve the district.

“We’re not just making decisions for other people’s children, but also for our children,” he said. “commitment is not just for our schools, but for our community.”

Caffey received his Bachelors in English from Texas A&M University in 2003, and his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from that same university in 2006. He graduated from Clyde High School near Abilene, and is  married to wife Lani. The duo has one son, Will, who is 3-years-old – a child that Caffey said will definitely attend Athens schools.

“I married an Athens girl from A&M in 2005, and moved here in 2006,” he said.

He also was employed at Mabank Independent School District for four years as an English teacher and as an assistant principal.

“Then, I was offered a position in College Station as an assistant principal at A&M Consolidated High School,” he said. “It was a great opportunity, but over the time we lived here, Athens became home for me.  I love the community and the people here.  I wanted to do something for the community, and I believe it’s through the school district.  This role allows me to give a big impact.”

Caffey, whose first day in the new position was July 8, said he is confident in his new position.

“A lot of the confidence comes from campus leadership that is in place,” he said. “The District Support center is where our offices are, and we take that support duty to heart, supporting the principals, the teachers and students.”