The Burbank Unified School District recognized retired English teacher Steve Campbell at a ceremony dedicating the Steve Campbell Library on Saturday, March 31. Former students and numerous school and City officials came out to the John Burroughs High School campus to honor the beloved teacher and celebrate the newly-christened library.
“He is really an amazing man and I owe my love of journalism and language in large part to him and his teaching,” commented former student and current BUSD Public Information Officer Kimberley Clark. “Being able to bring this dedication to fruition is truly a privilege.”
Campbell began his Burbank Unified teaching career in 1965 at what was then known as Jordan Junior High, at which he remained for the next 25 years. He taught English, Spanish and journalism for 21 years. He also taught English as a Second Language for many years in adult school.
Under Campbell’s guidance, Jordan’s school newspaper, the Star, was one of the top-rated junior high school newspapers in the country, earning many awards from the National Scholastic Press Association, Quill and Scroll, Colombia University and Pepperdine University.
Campbell advised student government for several years and oversaw student elections for 23 years. He also managed the Eighth Grade Art Gallery Competition.
When Jordan Junior High became David Starr Jordan Middle School, Campbell moved to Burroughs High, at which he taught ninth-grade English for the remainder of his teaching years.
After 41 years of teaching in BUSD, Campbell retired in June 2006. In the years since, Campbell and his partner, who became his husband in 2013, traveled extensively.
“After a lifetime of only being able to travel during the summer months, what a pleasure it is to be able to go where we want when we want,” he commented.
Campbell lost his partner recently, explained Clark, and added that she spends “a lot of time with him now.”
“I would like to think that the goals I set in my journalism classes regarding the importance of the press in a democracy awakened in a great many of my students a deep sense of social conscience,” Campbell also said, noting with pride the large number of former students who entered fields of journalism and law.
Campbell was known as a stickler for detail, such as the proper way to staple papers, as many former student attest to this day. In all, he taught approximately 10,000 students over the course of his career.
The Steve Campbell Library dedication was attended by current and former members of the Burbank Unified Board of Education, including Dr. Roberta Reynolds, Steve Frintner and Ted Bunch.
Assistant BUSD Superintendent of Curriculum and Assessment Sharon Cuseo and Director of Secondary Education Dr. John Paramo were there, along with “Campbell Kid” and current BUSD PIO and Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Clark.
Burroughs Principal Deborah Madrigal and Burbank City Councilmember Bob Frutos joined in the celebration. Former Burbank Mayor and “Campbell Kid” Marsha Ramos attended, as did many other BUSD employees and “Campbell Kids.”
Former Jordan Junior High Principal Al Martens spoke along with former Jordan counselors Marvin Cira and Bob Lunsford. Teachers Jill Sullivan and Pat Carman, who remain friends with Campbell, shared some words with the audience.
“Campbell Kid” Clint Howard was a special guest speaker, regaling the audience with humorous tales of his experiences in Campbell’s classes.
After the shared stories and recognition, the group moved outside for the unveiling of the new Steve Campbell Library sign.