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Few Black teachers in county, but they make a difference - African American News Today - EIN News

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - "I always enjoyed school, and I enjoyed learning. I knew early on that academics was more of my route, and I was fortunate to have a family that encouraged me," said Campbell, an English teacher at Washington High School. Campbell's passion for learning was also nurtured by his teachers. But when he got into high school, it struck Campbell, who is Black, that other than his elementary and middle school gym teachers, he hadn't been taught by a person of color throughout his academic career in the Washington School District, where minority students make up nearly 50% of the student body. "High school was a reality check. I looked around and realized in 10th grade that my world history teacher was the first teacher of color I had in a core class," he said. After he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Campbell, 33, returned to his alma mater, where he has spent the last 11 years sharing his love for literature and serving as a role model for his students - especially students of color. "I aspire to be a role model for all of my students, but especially for my minority students, because I know how difficult it can be to be a Black male in this country," said Campbell. "What upsets me is the low expectations people have for African American children. I want to open their eyes to the fact that there is more for them in life than what the world dictates for them. There are Black doctors and Black scientists and Black lawyers, and I want them to know that. It's important for them to see successful people of color because it works against those stereotypes of people of color that persist." Not many teachers in Pennsylvania can relate to students the way Campbell does. While Pennsylvania schools are more...

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