GREENBURGH, N.Y With three children, Deborah Campbell was always committed to helping students. When her eldest daughter was in high school, their home became the local hang out spot for friends to drop by. Students confided in "Mama Campbell" about issues they would not speak to their own parents about.
Over the summer, Campbell was elected to Greenburgh Central 7's board of education.
The Daily Greenburgh: What is the best advice you give to students in GC7 schools?
Deborah Campbell: The number one thing is to strive for the best. "You're genius and you know more than you think you know, and you need to tap into your own strength. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself. Your voice means a lot." They are in the schools; they know what they need and what they should have. It's okay to speak up and be advocates for their education.
TDG: What is the best advice you can give to parents with school-aged children?
DC: For the parents, I would say that it is very imperative during these days and times that we not leave our kids to their own devices. We really need to be able to come out to meetings, be involved with events. Whatever is open for you to attend. Whenever the invitation is extended for you to come out, for whatever it is, please do come out. It's important for the school to know that you're involved, and it's important for your student. No one can advocate better for your child than you can. It's about the quality of time. You may not be able to be there every single time but when you can give time, your kid will know it is important.
TDG: What was the most important thing you learned while in school? What do you still remember now?
DC: Manners are so important. Even growing up, how I conducted myself as a child made the greatest difference in how I was treated. I could you my voice to speak up. I just wanted to do my best and be respectful, and it worked for me. I was the voice for myself and my brothers, being that they were younger than me. I wasn't an "A" student, but I was a good student. I did what I was supposed to do.
TDG: What has been the most valuable thing you have learned while on the Board of Education?
DC: I've learned about the important of team work. I've always been a team player, but I've found that what is really valuable is knowing that we are in it together. None of us take this lightly at all. It's not just a title. I have the utmost respect for them and what they bring to the table. Their desire, their unselfishness. This is a no-pay job, it's a total sacrificial thing. You're at the mercy of so many people. You have to know that at the end of the day, you have done the best that you could do to make it right.
TDG: What is your educational motto?
DC: While I'm in it and while I've made a commitment to do it, I'm going to do the best I can with it. And, also, it's what you give out that makes a difference of what you're going to get back.
The school board will hold a work session on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom, and a regular board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Woodlands High School cafeteria.
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