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Campbell Elementary dedicated

January 18, 2019

Retired Katy Independent School District special education teacher Amy Campbell became a member of a special class in the school district on Jan. 15.

She joined other educators and community leaders who have had schools in the Katy ISD named after them.

Amy Campbell Elementary is the district’s 41st elementary school, the fourth two-story elementary campus and the second elementary school located in Fulshear. It opened in August 2018 in Cross Creek Ranch subdivision. The gym at Campbell Elementary, 3701 Cross Creek Bend Lane, was filled last Tuesday night for the dedication.

School board president Courtney Doyle said that Campbell has spent her career as an advocate for Katy Independent School District students. “May this building honor her life and values,” said Doyle.

Superintendent Ken Gregorski said that Campbell has made an impact on generations to come.

Macey Evans, a special education teacher at Tompkins High School, illustrates Campbell’s impact. Evans said she was a student at Katy High school where she got to know Campbell. Campbell began work in 1982 at Katy High School as an adaptive behavior teacher.

Evans took an active role in the Best Buddies program in which she assumed a leadership role both in high school and at Texas A&M University. Best Buddies is a nonprofit group that pairs a volunteer with a person who has intellectual and development disabilities.

While Evans she she always knew she wanted to be a teacher, it was Campbell’s influence and encouragement that helped her to focus on special education.

“She was there for me and helped me get there,” said Evans.

The school dedication program, in part, reads: “Amy’s biggest strength was the way she instilled a sense of confidence, self-esteem and perseverance in students.”

She and a colleague piloted a LIFE Skills program and began an occupational lab in 1987. That program has evolved to the Work-Based Learning program which is offered in every high school in Katy ISD. Campbell also is credited with starting a swim program for special-needs students that became known as Adaptive Aquatics.

After moving to Taylor High School, she and a colleague organized the second Texas high school chapter of Best Buddies. She remained a program sponsor until she retired in 2015.

Campbell received a standing ovation when she came to the podium where her analogy focused on an acorn taken from her backyard oak tree and how “given the right conditions, its potential is unlimited” — just as is a student’s potential. Given good fertile soil with nutrients and the right amount of rain and sun, it could become a legacy tree, she said. Campbell Elementary’s Vision Statement is “Building a Legacy.”

Campbell credits her mother for her encouraging role.

“She encouraged people to do and be their best. I want to be an encourager.”

And she gave examples of former students who have stayed in touch with her and their successes in work and personal lives.

After sharing their stories, she listed her wants: “I want to have a sense of humor like Lisa and be thoughtful. I want to make people feel welcome.”

She challenged those on stage and in the audience to go back to their circle of friends and family and to be the sunshine to others.

Tributes also came from representatives of local legislators. The Office of District 18 Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham; presented a proclamation adopted by the Legislature and the Office of District 28 state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond presented a flag flown over the Texas Capitol.

Fulshear Mayor Aaron Groff welcomed the school to the city.

“We’re ecstatic that you’re here,” he said.

karen.zurawski@chron.com

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