John Campbell By Elijah Bullie


John Campbell, is truly Bellevue born and raised. He graduated from Bellevue West High School in 1989, and now finds himself back in the district as an instructor in english and a forensic speech coach at Bellevue East High School. 


 “I love Bellevue Public Schools. I grew up in the district, Kindergarten through 12th grade. I was involved in a lot of sports in high school; football, baseball, wrestling, I did it all. I also did show choir and forensics. Both my parents happened to teach in Bellevue Public Schools, and a number of their friends were teachers so I grew up around Bellevue teachers.”


Despite being an avid student with a record of active participation, forensics was never at the forefront of young John Campbell’s mind.


“I was more into things like wrestling. In high school I did forensics, but I wasn’t nearly as competitive as my brother and my sister were. My brother went to Creighton with a full ride for forensics and was two or three time state champion. I didn’t do much; I think I had just one event. Honestly, I was doing it more as a class and was kinda a lazy kid in forensics. It wasn’t until I saw potential when my brother was in college that I thought this is something I should do, coach wise.”


While a new found appreciation for speech and debate was fostered in the admiration of both his brother and sister, Campbell found himself faced with a dilemma of career choice.


“I never thought I would end up back here. I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but I was in the ROTC program and thought about being a pilot, but I discovered I’m color blind, so that didn’t work out as well as I thought, as you can imagine. When I had the opportunity to come back to the school district I jumped at it because I think it’s great. I was coaching wrestling here, and once a spot in forensics opened up I took the job. I love where I ended up and I’m so glad I’m here. I can’t say it was my plan, but it worked itself out really well.”


After over 20 years as an instructor and 15 years as a forensics coach at Bellevue East High School, Campbell’s passion for speech is still as strong as ever


“Forensics is the best. It’s one of the things that makes me love teaching. It allows me to connect with students well beyond the classroom. Other positions you may not have that ability. It’s a huge benefit of being a forensics coach. When you spend a lot of time with someone traveling and things like that, you get to know them. It’s a lot more than speeches and acting.”