How astonishing is it that so many politicians were once school teachers? Such is the case for Gabriel J. Campana, an elementary school educator who has been the mayor of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, since 2008.
Gabriel was born July 6, 1963, in Williamsport, one of eleven siblings. His father, Dr. Louis F. Campana, was a local physician, and his mother, Rose Campana, is a retired nurse. As a teenager, Gabriel attended St. John Neumann Academy, a local parochial school, where he graduated in 1981. Following his high school graduation, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and his master’s degree from Wilkes University, a private institution located in Wilkes-Barr, Pennsylvania. He earned a doctorate degree in administration from the University of Sarasota.
For twenty years, Gabriel served as a fifth grade teacher at Stevens Elementary School in his home town of Williamsport. In addition to this teaching experience, he taught master’s degree classes at the College of New Jersey and he served as an adjunct assistant professor at Gratz College. In 2005, this remarkable educator was a recipient of the YMCA Racial Justice Award, and he has been named in Who’s Who in American Education.
The talented educator also served on his home town’s city council. In November of 2007, he was elected the thirty-ninth mayor of the town of Williamsport. He ran on a platform of public safety and economic development. During his tenure as mayor, Gabriel continued to find time to work with young children. He is pictured here visiting Penn College’s Children’s Learning Center during the Week of the Young Child in 2008. The former teacher read a popular book aloud to the children and then gave a copy of the book to each youngster.
Still living on the same block where he grew up, Mayor Campana lives with his wife, Sonia, and their five children.