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Superintendent finalist bio: John R. Phillips

John R. Phillips of Isle of Palms, S.C., most recently served as Director of University/School District Partnerships at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. (April 2005-June 2009).

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Ed., Harris-Stowe State College, St. Louis, Mo. in 1971, Master of Arts in EA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1981, and Post Masters, Advanced NCATE Certification in EA from UM-SL in 1984.

Phillips completed his Ed.D. in Education at St. Louis University in 2002.

He taught middle school math and science for the Saint Louis Public Schools from 1971-1986. Phillips became an assistant principal at Wyman Elementary School in St. Louis from 1986-1990.

In an interview with the Saint Petersburg Times, dated January 10, 2010, Phillips described Wyman’s location as “a harshly-underserved section of inner city St. Louis.” According to Phillips, during his six years as principal, Wyman’s performance improved dramatically, topping all 105 of the district’s schools in achievement gains, student and staff attendance and drops in suspensions.

He served as Assistant Superintendent of School Leadership in the Kansas City, Mo. School District from April 1997 to July 2000, supervising the academic focus of 20 schools. According to his application, all 20 schools except one met their academic targets, and all surpassed their suspension and dropout goals.

From July 2000 to July 2003 Phillips served as Associate Superintendent for the Charleston County School District in S.C. He was the Executive Director of School Reform for Area IV of the Atlanta Public Schools from July 2003 to June 2004.

Since leaving Claflin, he has expressed a desire to return to K-12 administration.

The Advocate was unable to reach Phillips on Thursday for comment.