Morenci will have a new middle school/high school principal on board this summer and we’ll admit it right here: We were surprised with the choice.
The last sentence, however, was written in the past tense. We were surprised.
We were among those who were actually shocked that retired principal Kay Johnson wasn’t chosen and wasn’t even among the three finalists. [See letter below.]
Johnson seemed like an obvious choice: a proven leader willing to devote more of her life to the Morenci school system—at an enormous cost savings to boot.
She wasn’t selected and we moved on. Next it seemed to us as though Morenci teacher Brad Brown could do an admirable job. Discipline, organization, good communication with parents, capable of maintaining good staff morale, familiarity with students, staff and the community—we heard a variety of support for his candidacy. Besides, we’re familiar with him and the other two are unknowns.
In the end, administrators chose another of the three finalists as our new principal: Kelli Campbell.
We’re aware of the hesitations and the doubts that some people harbor about this choice. She’s too young, she’s too inexperienced, she’ll try to change things, she doesn’t know us, etc.
Perhaps she comes with those qualities, but that’s not how we’re viewing the situation. We aren’t seeing limitations; we’re seeing potential. If Campbell was chosen out of field of 18 candidates despite her age and inexperience, she must be someone special who shows a lot of promise.
We welcome her to the Morenci school district and aim to make her feel at home. We’ve lost our shock and disappointment with the selection process and instead look forward with anticipation to her guidance over the community’s students. We urge everyone in the district—students, parents, teachers and staff—to do the same.