Easton Area Community Center hires new director of early learning

Easton Area Community Center has hired Lisa Campbell as associate director of early childhood learning for the center’s daycare program, which is still in development.

Kathryn Presto, a board member at the 901 Washington St. center, said plans for the daycare could go in front of the full board of directors before the end of the year, but she’ll be seeking to get Campbell adjusted and integrate her input into the programming before that happens.

The hiring comes after the center a year ago hired Easton native Jake Simon to be the center’s executive director, following former executive director Madeline Lezowski departure after 18 months in the role.

“She’s coming in the early stages, so she can mold and shape this,” Presto said of Campbell. “She and Jake will be the largest influencers of the program and, inevitably, it still needs the approval of the board.”

Campbell is joining the community center during a crucial time in its redevelopment. Currently the center is working on restoring programs that went away during the pandemic and strengthening existing ones, including a virtual learning program that was started during the pandemic.

Campbell will join Simon overseeing the center’s existing K – 8 groups, and she’ll also collaborate with Chelsea Morrese, director of Lafayette College’s Landis Center, on creating an educational pipeline targeted at getting Easton Area Community Center students college credit before they enter higher education .

“I’ll be providing more structure in the programming that we’re doing,” said Campbell. “I don’t think children realize that there is another level of learning after they leave high school. Unfortunately, a lot of kids aren’t exposed to that. And I think early exposure increases the odds for children to go forward into college, to pursue their careers, and if we can start as soon as possible, the likelihood is better for them. ”

She’ll also join the specialized task force designing the community center’s daycare program.

Campbell will bring a variety of experience, chalked with 25-plus years of experience as an educator across a range of specialties, to the community center.

In the past, she served as a parent involvement coordinator in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; owned and operated a childcare facility in Bolingbrook, Illinois; co-founded Outlook for University Independent School Network, a charter school in Illinois; worked as a guidance counselor in Louisville, Kentucky; and she brings two years of nonprofit experience as the prevention program manager from the Center for Humanistic Change in Easton to the Easton Area Community Center.

“We knew what we needed, having had good people work with us in the past,” Presto said. “We knew the kinds of skills and competencies that those people had who did a good job. And there were plenty of resumes, but Lisa’s floated to the top. ”

Campbell is a resident of Bethlehem and said she moved to the Lehigh Valley with her husband, an electrical engineer for Rockwell Automation, and their three sons six years ago. In her free time she enjoys teaching music and piano, and performing with her bands.

She officially started her role as associate director on April 10.

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Glenn Epps can be reached at [email protected].

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