Tami - Tamara - Ms. K-C
A Lifetime of Service
SO MANY NAMES!
Yes, those are all my names! Many of my students, parents and colleagues know me as Ms. Kolb-Campion (Ms. K-C). What you call me depends on where our paths might have crossed. I'm just happy to know you.
A FULFILLING CAREER
Teaching music was the focus of my 34-year career. From the moment I started college, I knew that I didn’t want to have a day without music. In my junior year I realized that I enjoyed teaching: explaining step-by-step how to do something, having patience during the process, and experiencing pride when a student succeeds. Those feelings and values stayed with me throughout my career. I often see some of my former students and have the pleasure of reconnecting with them -- learning about their lives since elementary or junior high school, as well as their hopes and their dreams.
During my entire career, I was a union member of the St. Cloud Teacher’s Association, serving on the Representative Assembly representing Talahi Community School for a few years prior to my retirement. I acted as department chair from time to time at both Tech High School and Talahi.
FAMILY IS IMPORTANT TO ME
The youngest of 7 children, I grew up in Ortonville, a small town in western Minnesota. My father had served in the Navy at Pearl Harbor but was discharged prior to the 1941 bombing. During WWII, he served as Company Commander at the Great Lakes Naval Base near Chicago.
My siblings and I worked in my parents’ grocery store, which they owned for 10 years; as a 5-year-old, I rolled pennies. My father went on to work as an editor of the town’s paper, then for the State of Minnesota as a tax examiner. Later in life, when my parents owned a craft business, I was involved in discussions about the business. This experience with family business, combined with my participation in choirs and bands, led to my music major and business minor at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
My children, Joe Campion, Jr. and Rachel Campion, attended public schools at Talahi, South, Tech, and St. Cloud Technical & Community College, ultimately earning degrees in Hospitality from St. Cloud State University. I was an active parent supporter during their years on swim and gymnastics teams, and served as Rachel’s Girl Scout troop leader. We are members of the First Presbyterian Church of St. Cloud. Four years before retiring, I married Dan Calhoun, a mechanical engineer at TDK Hutchinson Technologies and father of two children who are also engineers. One of our sons married in 2019, adding our daughter-in-law to the family. Spending time with Dan and our four adult children is precious. You will usually find us outside, summer or winter.
RETIREMENT? WHAT'S THAT?
Retirement has given me time to broaden my involvement in the things that matter most to me -- my family, my church, missions and my community. For 17 years, I have been a leader with ISAIAH, a non-profit faith-based organization focused on changing policies related to social, racial and economic injustices. In 2016, 2017 and 2019, we traveled to the MN State Capitol to work on the NorthStar Train campaign with our St. Cloud representatives and senators, and in 2019 to work on increased educational funding. In 2018, as an ISAIAH leader, I worked on the St. Cloud Community Policing Agreement. I am currently one of the board members of SCERAC (St. Cloud Educational Rights Advocacy Council) to litigate for the cross-subsidy funding for school district 742. I attended ISAIAH’s week-long leadership training in 2004 and 2019.
I am an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in St. Cloud, having served three 3-year terms, one of the terms as President of the Corporation of the church. I have previously served as chair of the personnel and service group committees, and I currently serve on the mission committee.
My musical endeavors have included singing in our church choir; performing with Minnesota Center Chorale, Great River Chorale and Crusade Choir; playing clarinet in the pit orchestra for community musicals; participating in a monthly music performing group; and playing in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church orchestra.
Mission trips have taken me to Brazil and Costa Rica (for church and community building projects) and Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Texas (for rebuilding after natural disasters). I have expanded my construction skills to include tying rebar and laying mortar on brick! In addition to helping people rebuild their lives, my life has been enriched through building relationships with the local people and my fellow mission workers.
Most recently, I have traveled to Pakistan 6 times since 2015 to teach music to teachers and students (Pre-K through 2nd grade) in the schools of Presbyterian Education Board, based in Lahore. I currently serve on the board of the Friends of PEB (Presbyterian Education Board), a non-profit that raises funds for these schools in Pakistan.
During my time in Pakistan, I opened a business in partnership with a local Pakistani, a good friend whom I met during my teaching trips there. It is J.S Building Construction and Material Store in Lahore, Pakistan. Though I am in the U.S. and he is in Pakistan, we talk frequently about the business growth and needs. I am learning cultural differences on business practices between our countries, which are fascinating. This is a great opportunity to develop our business, to develop Pakistan, and to develop a worldwide partnership.
My husband and I love to travel for fun, too, in the U.S. and abroad. In the winter, we ski often at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, MN. The summer of 2018, we took our first trip into the Boundary Waters for camping, canoeing and portaging. The summer isn’t complete without time on a lake in MN, usually one near St. Cloud. Family reunions and picnics are always a valued time in our lives.
There is no grass growing under my feet during retirement because there are many things that need to be done -- and I love doing them!
My parents were politically involved – my father was Republican and my mother was Democrat (think back to Nixon/Humphrey). However, our political discussions around the dinner table were very civilized and respectful. Some of my older siblings were involved in political/social activities. My husband is Republican – actually an old-time Republican, as in “where-did-my-party-go?” Republican. As you can imagine, lively political discussions are common in our family. We keep current and well-informed on social and political events, nationally and internationally. My work with ISAIAH was social and political, but non-partisan. That is the background from which I come -- and the foundation from which I want to serve St. Cloud in District 14A.