‘I don’t think I went to work one day. I went to school’: CPHS principal Van Phillips retires

Van Phillips announced his retirement from Jefferson Co. Schools
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 3:26 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:17 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Longtime Center Point High School principal Van Phillips says he’s ready for retirement after 39 years in education.

He made the announcement Thursday morning during the board meeting. Phillips is revered for his strong leadership and his ability to turn around troubled schools. He did it during the 90′s at Minor High School after a race riot, and then again during tumultuous and violent times in 2005 at Erwin High school which is now Center Point High School.

Phillips says making the decision to step down was not easy.

After the board meeting Phillips said, “Fairfield, Minor, Hueytown, Center Point, Hueytown, where I have served, I feel that I have gotten more from them than they ever got from me. So, if I had anything to say is that it’s been a blast. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t think I went to work one day. I went to school. I went to school to learn and to teach so I don’t think what I was doing was work.”

Phillips’ family was there for his announcement including his wife, son and daughter and their spouses and children.

Phillips’ last day is March 1, but he says he will attend the 2022 graduation ceremony.

He says he will still remain active in the community. He is the pastor of Holy Trinity World Outreach Church and says he will also do some consulting work for the state.


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