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2020 Locals Love Us favorite school teacher: Riki Campbell of Burnet Middle School

Burnet Middle School teacher Riki Campbell (back row, middle) with students Mason Roberts (back row, left), Alexia Palacios, Zane Hubbard (front row, left), Kyle Conklin, and Evan Joiner. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Burnet Middle School sixth-grade science teacher Riki Campbell is in Room 612, which used to be grandmother Joan Mosley's classroom when she was a science teacher. Campbell's father, Frank Love, taught science in the adjacent classroom.

Grandfather Paul Mosley was a Burnet High School teacher and coach. Her mother, Denise Love, was the Burnet High School athletics department secretary for years.

Teaching is in Campbell's blood, and she's good at it, according to The Picayune Magazine readers and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune listeners, who selected her as their Locals Love Us favorite school teacher.

“It’s an honor,” said the 1999 Burnet High School graduate. “I’ve been teaching for a long time. I don’t necessarily do it for the recognition.”

The 17-year educator has spent her career within Burnet Consolidated Independent School District, two of those years at Burnet High School as a teacher and assistant volleyball and softball coach. She played for former head softball coach Roger Moore for four years at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor before becoming his assistant at Burnet after graduating college.

Campbell knew she wanted to return to Burnet to work and raise a family. She and husband Foy have two children: ninth-grader Sadie and seventh-grader Korbin.

“Once you bleed green, you always bleed green,” Campbell said. “It’s family. I wanted my kids to grow up in the same town I did to experience the same things and feel safe and experience the legacies here.”

She loves teaching the children of longtime families and seeing how lives in Burnet intertwine, especially with hers.

Her favorite example of this is the Chafin family. Randy Chafin was her teacher. When his sons, Dillon and Cameron, were students, Campbell was their teacher.

As she gets older, she's starting to teach the children of former students.

“It’s fun for me to see the similarities between them and their parents,” she said.

Her favorite part about teaching is the moment a lesson clicks with a student.

“To see them experience those little lightbulbs is worth it," she said. "Their eyes light up. I live for it. No matter how few I see, one is enough.”

Growing up in the city where she teaches is a blessing, she said.

“My family, friends, teachers, coaches, and colleagues made a lasting impression on me,” she said. “They showed me that they cared about me and held me to a high standard. My grandmother always said, ‘It takes a village.’ I love that I get to be a part of my students' journey. I want them to know how lucky they are to be a part of this place.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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