SBHS Assistant Principal Patrick Phillips 

Assistant Principal Phillips Retires: School Climate Shaped by his Humor, Patience and Kindness

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Thursday June 14, 2018

After 38 years in education, South Burlington High School (SBHS) Assistant Principal Patrick Phillips is retiring at the conclusion of this school year. Phillips was a biology and chemistry teacher at Harwood Union High School for 21 years, a middle school principal for four years, and he has been at SBHS for the last 13 years. Describing his current job as often behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly, he adds that his responsibilities included, “That classes are scheduled correctly, that everybody has rooms to [teach] in, that they have all the things that they need to do their jobs.”

Phillips has been an active staff member at the high school as the rowing club advisor; he is known to be very involved with both students and teachers. Phillips has been a chaperone on four international exchange trips, including traveling to Japan, Spain, and a trip to Ireland with SBHS chorus.

Phillips says what he will miss most about working at SBHS are the people. Teachers and students alike are going to miss him, too. English teacher Veronica White said, “When I think of Pat Phillips, I think that every educator in his or her career should have an administrator that has the compassion, that has the connection, that has the laughter of a Pat Phillips.”

Similarly, Matt Dransfield, a science teacher at SBHS, stated, “He is one of the best administrators I’ve ever worked with. He is consistent, he is fair, he has great judgment, he’s a really nice guy. I’ll miss him.”

Fellow co-assistant principal Lissa McDonald says, “Mr. Phillips comes to work with a smile on his face every day and approaches issues people bring to him with humor, patience, and kindness. He’s reliable, a great listener, and a compassionate problem solver. Mr. Phillips is the reason we have such a positive vibe and climate at SBHS. I have learned so much from my friend and colleague and will miss him greatly.”

Looking forward to spending more time with his wife and family, Phillips also plans on fly fishing, hiking, and birdwatching. He notes, “It’ll be the first September I have had free since I was five years old. I’m ready to do something different.”

As he departs the school, Phillips leaves behind this piece of wisdom for students trying to find their future career, “Follow your heart and follow your passions and be willing to work hard even if it doesn’t work out in the beginning. Don’t do something just because someone else is doing it. Take a deep breath, find out who you are, and then find your passions and follow [them].”


SOURCE: Sydney Klugo, SBHS CDC Correspondent