York High School alum to take the helm of Elmhurst District 205

When Keisha Campbell takes the helm of Elmhurst Unit District 205 this summer, it will be something of a homecoming.

The York High School alum is returning to her alma mater’s district as its next superintendent, bringing her career in education full circle.

Campbell will replace David Moyer, who stepped down after six years in charge to lead a school system in New York.

Campbell officially begins her tenure July 1, but in the next few months, she will begin working with the school board to establish goals and prepare for the transition with Linda Yonke, who last month was named interim superintendent under a $1,250-a-day contract.

Campbell is currently the director of school leadership for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a private organization that manages about 30 Chicago Public Schools and runs a teacher residency program.

In a career spanning more than 20 years, she’s held positions as a classroom teacher, school-based instructional coach, district literacy coach, and elementary and middle school principal. Campbell also is a recipient of a Golden Apple teaching scholarship.

“I have every confidence that under your leadership, District 205 will be a nationally recognized and top-ranked school district,” school board President Kara Caforio said in introducing Campbell this week.

She will receive a $225,000 base salary for the 2021-22 school year. Campbell’s three-year contract runs through June 2024.

The district provided a copy of the 17-page contract to the Daily Herald through a Freedom of Information Act request. Under the terms of the contract, the district will pick up the cost of Campbell’s contributions to the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System and Illinois Teachers’ Health Insurance Security Fund.

In Illinois, active TRS members, whether they are teachers or superintendents, contribute 9% of their salaries toward their pensions. Their school districts kick in 0.58% of the salaries of all of the TRS members they employ.

District 205 will pay Campbell’s share on her behalf.

She’ll also receive 20 working days of vacation each contract year at full pay, in addition to school holidays.

Campbell lives in the district. She is the parent of two children who are Elmhurst students.

Campbell holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Illinois State University as well as a master’s of education in instructional leadership and a doctorate of education in leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

After a national search, the board selected Campbell from a pool of eight semifinalists and then three finalists who returned for interviews with the panel.

“As a graduate of both Bryan Middle School and York High School -- go Dukes -- as well as now a parent, this is an absolute dream come true,” Campbell said.

The district serves roughly 8,500 students in eight elementary schools, three middle schools and York High School.