School board to honor Phillips for 'extraordinary' contributions

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 15, 2013 

The Muscogee County School Board is expected to take official action Monday night to confer emeritus status honoring John Phillips Jr. for "extraordinary and meritorious" contributions to the Muscogee County School District.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Muscogee County Public Education Center on Macon Road.

According to the meeting agenda, the former superintendent will also be honored by a proclamation presented by Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

Phillips came to Muscogee County as superintendent in January 2003 from Bartow County, Ga. He retired in August 2008 then served as interim until the board hired Susan Andrews in December 2008.

After Andrews retired at the end of June 2012, Phillips came back to serve as interim until David Lewis was hired this summer and then remained as a temporary assistant to Lewis through the month of August.

In other board business, there's expected to be a vote on the naming of the elementary school being built on Benning Drive.

Athavia J. Senior, who represents District 3 on the board, has proposed that the school be named for civil rights leader Dorothy I. Height who died in 2010.

Board members Cathy Williams, Naomi Buckner and Mark Cantrell expressed concern at an August board meeting that Height does not have a Columbus connection.

At that meeting, Williams even suggested an alternative name: Eddie T. Lindsey Jr., who died in August. Lindsey was the first black assistant superintendent in the school district.

The board is also expected to vote on the appointment of Rebecca Braaten as assistant superintendent of education.

Braaten served in the Polk County, Fla., School District where she worked with current Muscogee County superintendent David Lewis.

The board is expected to vote to authorize the construction department to begin taking proposals for construction manager at risk for the construction of the new fine arts performing academy.

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