The first Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Owensboro Public Schools was born and raised in the city where he will now lead efforts to promote a “culture of equality.”
The Owensboro Public School District announced the appointment of David Phillips to the newly-created position that it describes as “a response to the national movement to end systemic racism and to locally provide an even playing field for students, staff and community partners.”
Phillips is a 42-year-old African American and says there were some times when he was the subject of racial insults.
“Yes, I did have some personal experiences with that growing up," said Phillips. "That’s another reason why I want to help with racism any way I can, just to make it better for students we’ve got coming up, so they can have a better life and make sure that we provide all students with the necessary resources to be more successful.”
He has a bachelor's degree in social work from Brescia University in Owensboro.
Phillips began his 16 years with the Owensboro Public Schools in special education. He said he really enjoyed working with those students ,and that’s where he decided his career path would be in schools. He earned educational certifications in special education and school leadership from Campbellsville University and University of the Cumberlands.
“I tell people all the time I wish they could start out teaching special ed the first one or two years teaching," said Phillips. "I think they would have a different perspective on things, just to get that experience with a working with different set of students, whether it be behavior or a reading disability or a math disability. I just think that would be great for all teachers to do that.”
Phillip is currently assistant principal at Newton Parrish Elementary. He will begin his new job as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on July 1.