"When you work with kids everyday, you start to see the bigger picture. I felt like I could do more for our education system," she said. "I am thrilled to have this opportunity."
Campbell said she wants to first focus on providing more professional development opportunities for the state's teachers and increase recruitment.
"The legislature and the Department of Education have set a standard for high quality teachers in West Virginia, but the problem is we're not attracting and retaining those teachers. Because of our low salaries and a lack of levies, that's been a struggle -- especially in rural areas," she said. "That's something we're going to work on."
Hale is leaving the job due to medical problems and said in her retirement she will not forget what the AFT has done for her and West Virginia over the years.
"The AFT has been very good to me over the years, and I have had great mentors and wonderful training. You can't do a lot of things at a state level because you don't have the resources, and the national office has supported us so much over the years. Had we not had the financial assistance, we would not have been able to become the largest union in West Virginia," Hale said. "Our work will continue to move forward."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.