Newly sworn-in member Craig Phillips shaking hands with Superintendent Travis Hanson at the last School Board meeting.
Photo By: Richard Schut
Meet Craig Phillips, the newest member of the Deer Park School District Board of Directors, ready to lead and advocate for schools while ensuring the needs of all students and families are met.
Before the swearing-in, Phillips was able to answer some questions from us so that the public could get to know him. Phillips’s answers are complete and have not been edited for this article.
1. Why did you decide to apply for the position?
“My life’s work involves community service and community building, so, when I learned there was a vacancy on the Deer Park School Board and that I live in the area of vacancy, I thought, “why not me?” Deer Park is the place I went to Middle School and High School (class of 2001), where I met and married my High School sweetheart, and where my children are now enrolled as students. I am thankful for what this community and school district have given me and my family and I want to give back by filling this vacancy. Furthermore, I believe my skill set and passion for education will contribute to advancing the cause of academic excellence as well as helping to ensure a safe and edifying learning environment for every student and faculty member.”
2. Do you plan on going for election after you serve out the remaining term of Greg Schuler?
“After attending months of board meetings and interviewing a variety of people in the district, I recognize there is still so much to learn about the role of a School Board Member. I am eager to serve and learn and am committed to finishing Greg’s term. Beyond this, I intend to be of service to the Deer Park School District in any capacity, so long as my services are needed.”
3. What would you like to see happen with schools in Deer Park?
“First, I come from a place of sincere admiration and appreciation for the work of the existing School Board, Superintendent, Faculty, and Volunteers. They have faced unprecedented challenges over the last few years, and from what I can tell, have navigated them well. As the parent of two DPSD students, I have been pleased by the education and opportunities they have experienced so far. I would like to see every student receive the same education and experiences. I would like to see the schools in Deer Park continue to grow and make quality academic progress while at the same time preserving what makes our community such a great place to live and raise children.”
4. How would you involve parents and community members in decision-making processes?
“I would encourage community members to attend School Board meetings and special information sessions where there is ample opportunity to formally express insights, opinions, and concerns. Additionally, there are resources on the recently updated website (www.dpsd.org) that make it easy to stay informed and keep in contact with us. Also, I am an active member of the community and am willing to give an audience to anyone as needed.”
5. What goals do you hope to accomplish in your term?
“I will be 1 of 5 School Board Members, so my primary objective is to work well with my fellow Board Members, under the advisement of the Superintendent, to manage agendas and a budget that help foster a safe and edifying academic experience for all students and faculty. The world is changing at a rapid pace, and I will do my part to help prepare our students for future success without compromising the values or personality of our community. There is much to learn, and my goal is to learn as much as possible and communicate what I’ve learned to as many people as possible. A well-informed community is a strong community!”
In his interview with the Board of Directors, Phillips expressed his understanding of the role a school board plays in shaping the vision for learning and growth in a school district. He also shared his desire to provide leadership and guidance around challenges related to growth in Deer Park, advocate for schools at the state and federal levels, and partner with parents and community members to ensure that the schools are meeting the needs of all students and families.
On November 28th, the Deer Park School District Board of Directors made the decision to select Craig Phillips to fill the vacant board seat in Director District 1. The seat was left open after the previous board member, Greg Schuler, stepped down after seven years of dedicated leadership.
Craig Phillips was sworn in at the Board of Directors’ meeting, on January 23rd, at 6pm. According to Board Policy 1114, Craig Phillips will serve the remaining term of Schuler, which is set to end in 2023. Craig is a Deer Park High School graduate and has children currently attending school in the district.
Superintendent Travis Hanson swearing-in Craig Phillips at the January 23rd School Board meeting.
Photo Provided By: Assistant Superintendent of Deer Park School District Alexa Allman