Longtime Rialto educator, resident Rod Campbell passes too soon

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Courtesy photo: Throughout his career, Rod Campbell held positions as an ROP Food Services Teacher (where he began his career in 1988), Adult Education Administrator, Rialto Middle School teacher, Builders Club Advisor with Kiwanis East Rialto, and ASB Advisor. Rod is pictured here with his beloved wife Cindy at a 49ers game.
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Shockwaves were felt throughout Rialto when word got out that longtime educator, husband and father Rod Campbell passed away at the age of 65. On November 29th, 2019 Rod Campbell passed away due to a heart attack. Many knew Rod Campbell and his family and if you are one of the few people that find yourselves scratching your head at his name it is almost a guarantee that someone you know was touched by this kind and caring man.

Rod Campbell served the education community 33 years that you can document. He was a ROP teacher for Food Services serving all of Rialto Unified School District high schools, coordinator over Adult Education, and a teacher at Rialto Middle School. Most recently Rod Campbell showed us his passion for STEM and showing kids the power of robotics through the Lego Robotics Competitions. Many people may not know it but Rod Campbell recently retired in May of 2019 and a lot of people wouldn’t have noticed because his dedication to Rialto’s kids went farther than a paycheck. Rod was passionate about helping students learn.

Courtesy photo:   Rod Campbell was a devoted educator in the RUSD and retired last summer after 32 years of service. During this time, Rod touched the lives, hearts and minds of so many students, and school employees.

At the December 11th Rialto Unified School Board meeting there was a moment of silence for Rod Campbell. Syeda Jafri, Lead Agent of Communications for Rialto Unified, said, “Mr. Campbell was an extremely caring and compassionate, lifelong educator, who understood the concept of the ‘whole-child,’ far before it was incorporated into the K12 philosophy. He was so many things to so many people, but above all, he was one of the kindest and youth-centered individuals. Mr. Campbell left a lasting, positive mark not only on his family, friends, students, colleagues, and the District, but also the community of Rialto. He will forever be missed.”

Rod Campbell has always been known as the go-to guy. In his family, neighborhood and community at large the man was a passionate person for helping others. Rod loved his family, worked tirelessly to make sure education was reaching every child and Rod cared deeply for those in need.

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Something near and dear to Rod’s heart was the Las Colinas Christmas Toy Drive. With his passing the family asked people to donate a bike to the Las Colinas Christmas Toy Drive this season.

Another area where Rod Campbell shined was helping children through tough times or through personal crisis. Rod was more than just there in the moment to ease fears in a time of sorrow. Rod would take it upon himself to make sure that the child affected had someone there with them, well into adulthood in some cases.

“Mr. Rod Campbell you will be truly missed it was a blessing to know you thank you for all the support throughout my basketball and life success and for all encouragements when I was down,” said Alliyaa Ortiz.

Ruth Gonzales shared, “I had the pleasure of calling him my colleague 18 years ago when I started working for the school district and 5 years ago, he became Angie’s teacher in 6, 7, and 8th grade. He was there for her during the death of one of her best friends in 6th grade and told her I’m not going to let you go until I make sure you’re ok. Rod Campbell remained in Angie’s life through high school. He made sure she reached every milestone while under his care. He helped her get through her anger and pain during difficult times, he helped her believe in herself and taught her how to speak in public, he helped develop her leadership skills by putting her in ASB.”

Rod was a loving husband, caring father and he loved being a grandpa. There are stories of how he adopted kids. His daughters all leaned on him for his strength and wisdom and he seemed to be what every woman wants from a husband. It makes you both happy and sad to know that Rod and his wife really enjoyed the time they had in his short retirement. One of his final posts was attending a 49ers game with his smiling wife, Cindy.

Rod is survived by his wife, Cindy Campbell; daughters: Shannon Campbell, Sheri Garcia, Shelly Gates and Sarita Robin Lopez; his son-in laws: Frank Garcia, Randy Gates and Miguel Lopez, and the eight grandchildren he absolutely adored: Destiny, Charlee, Mikayla, Kaylee, Nyomi, Ethan, Carter and Ryan; all who strive to carry on his legacy.

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David Phillips grew up in Rialto and is passionate about his community, local politics, and great food. David holds an AA in Child Development and a BA in Public Administration. David likes to golf, fish and is an avid food Influencer hitting up awesome food in the Rialto area and beyond. David has also been the moving force behind innovative changes in Rialto city and school district policies. David is also passionate about keeping our youth off drugs and leading our youth into careers that make them happy. He is also known by the popular nickname Mr. Inland Empire because of his expansive knowledge of what is going on in the local region. David can be reached at rialtosnow@gmail.com.