LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Lisa Phillips

Position: Principal
School: Cass Technical High School
School District: Detroit Public Community Schools District
City, State: Detroit, MI

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Lisa Phillips was nominated by her colleague, Patricia Perry.

Serving as principal of Detroit’s largest high school comes with many challenges, but Mrs. Phillips finds a way to overcome everything that comes her way. As an educator for over thirty years, Mrs. Phillips not only changes the lives of her students, but her staff, as well.

Each year, an average of 500 students graduate from Cass Technical High School. Although the students earn over forty million dollars in scholarships, some students still aren’t able to attend college with the basic necessities. To help these children who have dedicated their whole lives to education, Mrs. Phillips started a Bridge to College Program. Through this program, hundreds of seniors are presented with gifts that will help them while in college. These gifts include things like sheet sets, school supplies, calculators, refrigerators, computers, and anything else students need while in college. This event serves as an open house for students who cannot financially afford to host their own. Over the past three years, Mrs. Phillips assisted over one thousand students with attending college.

In addition to assisting students, Mrs. Phillips also invests in her staff. Throughout her tenure as an educator, she has helped over fifty teachers become educational leaders. Many of these teachers now are Assistant Principals, Principals, District Leaders and Superintendents. Through her transparent leadership, she empowers her faculty to be the best educators they can be by sharing her knowledge and wisdom.

"On a district level, Mrs. Phillips is a true leader amongst the principals," Perry said. "She is the one person who every principal call in the district for clarity and direction on issues."

"On a personal level, Mrs. Phillips has impacted my life greatly," Perry continued. "In 2014, I was hired to the Detroit Public Community School District as a Math Instructional Specialist and was placed at Cass Technical High School. Being at one of the leading high schools in Detroit, MI, can be intimidating. Mrs. Phillips accepted me with open arms, and supported me in increasing proficiency rates in the math department. Under Principal Phillips' leadership, we were able to increase math proficiency rates by 20% and increase math advanced placement enrollment by 200%."

"When it comes to running this school, only Lisa Phillips is capable of carrying out this job," Perry said. "My story just represents a small fraction of the impact that she has on others' lives. She doesn’t just change one life - she has changed, and continues to change, many lives!"