Campbell ’95 Highlighted for Work – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Campbell ’95 Highlighted for Work

Ken Campbell ’95 was recently highlighted in a regular feature on educators in the Daily Messenger newspaper. Campbell teaches psychology, sociology, and Advanced Placement U.S. history at Midlakes High School, Phelps, N.Y.

Campbell earned a B.A. in history from Hobart College, magna cum laude, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

The Daily Messenger’s profile of him follows.

Daily Messenger
Teacher profile: Midlakes’ Ken Campbell

Kathryn Rybczak, staff writer Sep 28, 2009

Phelps, N.Y. –
About Ken Campbell
Campbell teaches high school juniors and seniors about psychology, sociology, and Advanced Placement U.S. history. He began working at Midlakes in 1999.

Campbell enjoys teaching AP history because his students “develop lifelong passion for history and its life lesson connections.” As a past musician, Campbell will sing a couple of Bob Dylan protest songs during class. He is also the yearbook advisor and works 10 months with a group of students to put together the 176-page book.

Though he was out for a month in January of 2008 because of back surgery, Campbell was able to review with his students for their midterms via distance learning.

He also assists in National Honor Society and has been the junior varsity golf coach on and off for the last six years. “A great, great coaching job,” he said.

His background
Campbell has always wanted to be a teacher, since he had inspiring social studies teachers himself.

But he took a different path early on in his life, having different careers working in hotel management, as a traveling musician and then as a music store owner. In 1991, at 39, he went back to school, attending Finger Lakes Community College for two years and then enrolling at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and was a substitute teacher for a year. He worked at DeSales High School for two years teaching U.S. history before getting the job at Midlakes.

He has four sons ranging in age from 20 to 37, along with two grandchildren, Lucy, 2, and Matt, 7. His wife, Ellen, is a corporate sales executive for IBM. Outside of school, Campbell finds time to delve into his musical talent – he plays guitar, harmonica, drum synthesizer and vocals – playing gigs at many venues, some with local band Flint Creek in the Phelps area and the Red Brick Inn in Geneva.

In his own words
“I have the honor of teaching high school juniors and seniors about psychology, sociology, and Advanced Placement U.S. history. They are bright, motivated, curious, fun, and always keep me on my toes. It’s great to see my students begin to really wrestle with assumptions about themselves and the world, and watch them grow into young adulthood. It is great fun for us all.”
Teacher Profile is an occasional featured aimed at highlighting local educators.

To nominate someone for a teacher profile, contact Kathryn Rybczak at