Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell was awarded the district’s first-ever Dream Maker Award on June 8 by the Federal Way Public Schools Board of Directors.
On April 20, Campbell announced she is stepping down as superintendent at the end of June. The board appointed Federal Way Public Schools’ Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dani Pfeiffer, who will take over the superintendent role July 1.
At the Tuesday night board meeting, the inaugural award was presented to the outgoing superintendent as colleagues commended Campbell for her work over the past six years, and especially her work navigating the district through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Her practice of putting scholars first has left a lasting impact on Federal Way Public Schools,” said Board President Geoffery McAnalloy.
Her leadership has led to higher achievements of students, new schools in the district, advanced racial equity throughout the district, and the creation of a district-wide strategic plan, among other achievements, he said.
“Dr. Campbell broke barriers herself, so she took away barriers holding scholars back,” said Board Member Hiroshi Eto. Students’ doubts about going to college, affording laptops and other technology, or succeeding in advanced placement classes could not stand against Campbell’s perseverance. “For Dr. Campbell, it was simply ‘yes, you can.’”
Board member Luckisha Phillips praised Campbell’s work ethic as she was the first leader to “use the term laser-focused and meant it.”
A video tribute dedicated to Campbell included over 90 video submissions of farewells and “thank you” remarks from students, parents, staff members, elected officials and community leaders.
Many staff members in their video submissions said their motivation is inspired by Campbell’s motto: “Walk to the fire.”
“Walk to the fire” means being courageous even if it’s hard, and more importantly, being courageous to always do what’s best for scholars, Campbell said.