Black History Month Banner Program Honoree: Theophilius Preston “T.P.” Campbell

Theophilius Preston “T.P.” Campbell was born August 1919, in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Educated in Walton County Public Schools, T.P. was in the first graduating class of Tivoli High School (HS) in 1938. He earned an academic scholarship from Talladega College and graduated with an A.B. Degree in mathematics in 1942. T.P. was drafted after college and served in the U.S. Army during WWII as a Tec3. He was honorably discharged at the close of the war in 1945. T.P. attended graduate school at Ohio State University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Education in 1956. T.P. also completed additional graduate work at the University of Michigan. Upon returning to DeFuniak Springs he was employed at Tivoli HS as a classroom teacher teaching science courses of biology, chemistry, physical sciences, and physics. He was appointed Principal of Tivoli HS in 1957 and remained in that position until the school was closed as a secondary school in 1969. During his tenure as Tivoli Principal, T.P. oversaw tremendous expansion in infrastructure, development of the music and athletic programs, summer enrichment and recreation programs, as well as establishing strong fiscal management practices. T.P. was appointed Assistant Principal at Walton Senior HS where he served the position 42 years before retiring in 1987. T.P. held active membership and participation in numerous civic and social organizations in the community. T.P. wrote a weekly newspaper column chronicling the activities and progress in the Black community prior to being appointed principal of the HS. His community involvement resulted in a cross being burned in his front yard in the mid-fifties. Despite this attempt at intimidation, he continued to work with the local NAACP branch to register voters and educate the electorate on the political matters of the day. He remained active in the community until his passing in December 1995.

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