Superintendent Phillips’ Supporters Win but Not Without a Fight

  The Muscogee County School District board was as divided and contentious as usual, but after a lot of bickering, voted 5-4 to elect retiring Superintendment Dr. John Phillips to a three-month interim term. After the meeting I said, “So you’re going to put up with three more months of this stuff.”

  “I don’t have to, Dick. I am putting on hold some very attractive professional offers to do this, but I feel I need to do it for the school district and for the children.”

Dr. John Phillips, MCSD Superintendent

Dr. John Phillips, MCSD Superintendent

  Board members Fife Whiteside and Cathy Williams tried to derail the process with motions to table, complaining that they were not properly advised of the call meeting and that it should go through the commitee process. Dr. Phillip Schley said he called both of them a week ago and told them about this meeting. He told me that Whiteside and Williams have a “blood vendetta” against Phillips and fight him on everything. During the debate he said that Phillip’s expertise and leadership were needed duirng the search for a new supertintendent.

  Dr. Peggy Connell, chief academic officer for the district, will serve as the interim superindent for one month after Phillips retires and then he will serve for three months.

  A former board member told me he was surprised that Phillips would accept the position without a unanimous vote. As I said, he said he was doing it for the district and the children.  You would think that any person recuited to be considered for replacing Dr. Phillips would say no thanks when learning about the discord and wrangling that goes on in school board meetings. But, as  Dr. Schley told me, two of the discordant members won’t be back next year so harmony will probably return to the board.


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