Kits & Cats: Marcus Campbell examines his relationship with Northwestern

Sarah Parisien, Staff Writer

On any given day during the school year, Marcus Campbell can be seen making his way throughout the student-filled hallways, but some may not know about his role outside of the schools’ walls as an Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy.

“I’ve always believed this, but it’s something that I know now. Every student comes to the table with some aspect of prior knowledge about something,” Campbell says. “I am often fascinated with what people already know, and it’s not necessarily about what I can teach them, but what I can bring out of them that’s already in them.”

Campbell began working at ETHS right out college, starting as an English teacher then moving into Associate Principal of Academic Affairs and Student Supports. In 2013, Campbell was named Principal of ETHS.

His beginning at Northwestern University started with the Director of the Master of Science program, Timothy Dohrer, offering Campbell a position as an Adjunct Lecturer which he accepted. He teaches undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students under the direction of Dean David Figlio.

“Marcus [Campbell] in a lot of ways is the poster child for teacher-scholars: taking lesson from the latest evidence, incorporating it in his teaching and taking what he learned back to his institution,” Figlio says.

Campbell now teaches four different courses, where he focuses on race and education, social context, teacher leadership as well as climate and culture. In his social context class, students learn how to teach other students from different or similar backgrounds. The class focuses on racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, as well as how it impacts schools.

“Successful administrators never just do one thing, they are constantly concerned or engaged in their practices. By continuing to teach, [Campbell] is continuously forcing himself to explain and confront the latest evidence,” Figlio says.

Campbell further elaborates on duality of teaching at Northwestern University and ETHS. “It’s all about ETHS. What I teach over there [Northwestern] is kind of what we’re doing here [Evanston],” Campbell states.

Campbell also explains the similarities and differences between Northwestern and ETHS. He describes the interaction between him and his students in both institutions as the same, but that the two communities themselves are different.  

“What I’ve learned about teaching human interaction is that everybody has something in them already that can contribute to that [the lesson], Campbell explains. “We’re all bringing something together to create new knowledge, and that’s what a classroom experience is supposed to be.”

Emma Stein, former student representative, incoming freshman at Northwestern University reflects upon her interactions with Dr Campbell throughout her time at Evanston Township High School.

“[Campbell] taught me that the goal of every institution is self-preservation, but that doesn’t have to undermine other moral principles,” Stein states.

Campbell’s position at the School of Education and Social Policy further develops his role as an administrator at Evanston Township High School by retaining his connection to the classroom.

“Teaching is my first love, and everything I do for ETHS comes out of that love,” Campbell says.