Phillips scores near-perfect evaluation

Del Phillips

Sumner County Director of Schools Del Phillips continues to receive high marks from the Sumner County Board of Education – once again scoring a near-perfect score on his annual performance evaluation.

Hired to lead the school system in 2011, Phillips has consistently scored high on evaluations in which the 11 school board members rank the director on a scale of 1 to 10. He is graded in five categories: Board Relationship; Community Relationships; Facilities and Finance; Vision; and Student Achievement.

Phillips’ overall score of 99.7 percent included 100 percent scores in the categories of Board Relationship and Facilities and Finance. His lowest score, a 99.3 percent came in the Community Relationships category. In that category, two board members gave Phillips a 9 out of 10 for “develops cooperative relationships with the news media,” while another gave him a 9 out of 10 for “works effectively with public and private agencies.” He received all 10’s in the Community Relationships category for being “an effective spokesperson for the school system,” and “models the highest professional standards to the community.”

School Board Chairman Tim Brewer referenced the performance evaluation at the Aug. 21 School Board meeting.  

“I can’t tell you my disappointment in this evaluation that it’s only 99.7,” Brewer joked. “He lacked three tenths of a percent getting a 100 so I’m very, very disappointed.”

Brewer added that Phillips is “just doing a fantastic job.”

“We’ve got great leadership that shines through and it shines through in the products we offer,” he said, noting that more than 100 students received recognition as AP Scholars earlier during the same school board meeting.

“It starts at the top and runs down but you’ve got to have great people behind him in which he does, but he knows how to recruit them too,” Brewer added.  

Phillips thanked board members for the positive evaluation and support.  

“The scores are great and I love that, but it’s more important that when we have an issue that we’re all trying to work toward the same result, the same goal,” said Phillips. “And I think we’ve been really good about that for the last seven or eight years.”

Hired by the board in April of 2011, Phillips oversees roughly 4,000 employees and more than 29,000 students at 49 Sumner County schools.

School Board members last voted to extend Phillips’ contract for four more years in August of 2017. The agreement includes an annual salary of $194,521. 

Board members also recognized outgoing board members David Brown and Jeff Cordell during the Aug. 21 meeting. Brown, who represents Westmoreland in District 11, has served for 12 years and didn’t run for a fourth term. Cordell, who represented District 5 in Goodlettsville, didn’t seek re-election after serving one term.

Fellow three-term board member Glen Gregory said he remembered vividly the night he and Brown  were sworn in 12 years ago.

“He has done a really magnificent job of representing his district,” Gregory added.

There were kind words for Cordell, a former principal, as well.

“Mr. Cordell does not realize how much his experience in the school system has meant to this board,” said board member Ted Wise. “We learned a lot from Mr. Cordell due to that experience.”

New School Board members were sworn in on Tuesday, Sept. 4. They included newly elected members David Wilkerson of District 11, who will replace Brown, and Jeff Duncan of District 5, who will replace Cordell.

District 1’s Tammy Hayes, Alice Bachman of District 3, Andy Daniels of District 7 and Patricia Brown of District 9 were also sworn in. They all ran unopposed for re-election in the Aug. 2 county general election.

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