OPS Superintendent, Dr. Matthew Constant has named Newton Parrish Elementary School assistant principal David Phillips as the district’s first Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Phillips will officially move into the new role effective July 1, 2021, but has been a part of the district’s Equity Task force since its inception and will continue working with them as the Hanover Research project wraps up in the coming weeks.
“The creation of this position was one of the priorities of Dr. Constant and his vision with the Equity Task Force,” said Phillips. “I have gotten to know so many families in our district throughout my career with OPS and I look forward to continuing to build those relationships and hopefully create a pipeline of former students returning to work and teach in our district in the future.”
Phillips is in his 16th year with Owensboro Public Schools. He began his career as a special education teacher at Cravens Elementary and has served in that same capacity at the former Gateway Alternative School, Estes Elementary and Owensboro Middle School. For the past three years, Phillips has been an assistant principal at Newton Parrish Elementary.
Phillips’ route to OPS happened through a unique alternative certification program. Phillips received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Brescia University, but decided that he wanted to teach instead and earned his Alternative Certification from Campbellsville University. He then went on to earn his Rank I from the University of the Cumberlands.
In this new role, Phillips will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing the District’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) plan by providing strategic leadership that promotes a culture of equality for all students, families, faculty, staff, and the OPS community. Also, serves as the Assistant Director of Student Services (Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel) to ensure student compliance with school attendance laws and acts as liaison between students/families/applicable court agencies.
“We pride ourselves on being a district that is inclusive for all,” said Dr. Constant. “This is a position that allows our district to catch up where we fall short and address the gaps in our minority student population. This was a top priority of our school board and the Equity Task Force as a way to meet the needs of all students. Mr. Phillips is fully immersed with the students and families who will benefit the most from this initiative. Not only as a teacher and administrator, but as an OPS alum, Mr. Phillips understands first hand how to best meet the needs of our families to create more diversity and equity amongst our student population.”