A Closer Look

Posting Date: May 29, 2014
Expires 7/30/14

Sheila Phillips Named Next Superintendent

The Vestavia Hills Board of Education unanimously approved Sheila Phillips as its next superintendent. Phillips will become the 6th superintendent of Vestavia Hills City Schools following the retirement of Dr. Jamie Blair next year. Phillips has been Vestavia Hills’ assistant superintendent since May 2012. She led a district-wide accreditation process earlier this year that laid the foundation for the system’s future. She will lead the upcoming development of a new strategic plan for school improvement, which will be a collective vision of stakeholders throughout Vestavia Hills. Phillips was assistant principal at Vestavia Hills High School during the 2011-12 academic year. Her résumé includes three years as principal and three years as assistant principal at Cullman High School. She spent more than 15 years of her career working with students in special education programs at Cullman, Homewood and Childersburg schools. “The board is confident that our thorough and fair process has resulted in the best decision for our district,” Vestavia Hills Board of Education president, Kym Prewitt, said earlier this evening. “Mrs. Phillips has already established positive and meaningful relationships with many stakeholders, and she has a deep understanding of our culture and our needs as a system. We welcome her to this new position and look forward to improving our standard of excellence in every area for our students.” 





Posting Date: July 16, 2014
Expires 7/31/14

School Board Meeting

Vestavia Hills Board of Education

Regular July Board Meeting

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

Board Room

Posting Date: May 31, 2014
Expires 7/31/14

Q&A with Sheila Phillips


On May 28, 2014, Mrs. Sheila Phillips was appointed by the Vestavia Hills Board of Education as the district’s new superintendent. In this Q&A interview, Mrs. Phillips discusses her goals and motivation in her upcoming role as Vestavia Hills’ sixth superintendent.

Tell me about your initial reaction, now that you’ve been appointed superintendent.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve this community and district as superintendent. This process for me has been about falling in love with the work and the people of Vestavia Hills and the passion for the work we are doing. 

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness and encouragement shown to me upon the announcement.  I am humbled by the appointment because I know what it means to this community and the importance of the role I am about to fulfill.  I feel incredibly blessed just to have been considered for this position of leadership.

I am also thankful for the level of integrity that the board brought to the selection process. They made certain to seek out the very best candidates, and they did a stellar job of determining our beliefs in all areas.  I’ve said from the beginning that this would be one of the hardest things I ever do.  I am invested in the work that’s about to take place and am aware of the expectations for outcomes.  Therefore, I have no regrets in saying that it is also a little intimidating.  If you apply for a job in Vestavia Hills, you have to be prepared to work hard.  I believe that’s one of the things that I bring with me to this job – the ability and determination to do the work. 

What motivated you to pursue this opportunity?

Being assistant superintendent for two years has made me aware of the level of work that I am capable of doing.  My investment in the role has helped me realize how deeply I wanted to see the work we have started through to fruition.  I was motivated by the quality of work we have been doing, recognizing the relationships I’ve been able to build, going through the accreditation process and working with the administrators in the district.  Seeing the level of commitment by the board and by Dr. Blair made me recognize how much I care about the work we do in this school system and the learning outcomes for our children.

How has your previous experience helped to prepare you for this next role?

Working with students with special needs has given me a wide view of the curricular implications of teaching and learning for all students.  Having experiences in various school systems provided a wealth and depth of knowledge for me as well.  Every system I have worked in has been solid, and the opportunities I have been given in both teaching and administration have allowed me to work with stakeholders at all levels.  These have been pivotal not only in my own process of learning but in shaping who I am.  Earning degrees and moving in a higher direction of education are important, but where you really learn is on the job.  My broad range of experiences has prepared me for this job-often without me knowing it.  Now, I can look back and see how it all came together to bring me to the place I am today.

In what new or different ways would you like to impact this system as superintendent, and what are things you plan to continue?

I believe that Dr. Blair and I have complemented each other well.  Dr. Blair has trusted and allowed me to lead our district in such initiatives as our recent self-assessment.  I intend to roll up my sleeves and continue to be actively involved in system-wide projects.  As someone who is not from Vestavia Hills, I believe that I can bring a fresh perspective and a new level of accountability to the table.

Dr. Blair has great intuition and a manner of building capacity in people that I admire.  He has boldness and a willingness to take on tough challenges when it means improving services for our students.  I think we have those attributes in common, and I never want to lose that spirit as I believe it is what is going to make us an even better district.  

How did the accreditation and self-assessment process earlier this year inform and affect you as the next superintendent?

I think our approach to the self-assessment process was key.  The fact that we used a critical eye gave our district and school leadership teams the opportunity to evaluate our level of quality assurance and to work toward genuine continuous improvement.  The timing of the process provided a foundation to build upon.  Watching all of these things unfold has provided us with next steps to move forward as a system.  It provides a terrific opportunity for a new superintendent to “hit the ground running” with solid footing.

Give me your thoughts about the strategic plan moving forward.

Now that we have the results of the accreditation process, it’s time to get busy.  Strategic planning creates a sense of urgency – not panic or chaos – that can be very productive and bring tangible results with real accountability.  It’s the perfect time for the entire community to come back together to determine who we want to be and what we want to accomplish. 

Do you have a short list of goals as the next superintendent?

This system is already great.  I must provide an assurance that we continue on the path of excellence.  I accept this as a primary responsibility.  I must ensure that the needs of the students in this community are met.  I am responsible for bringing people together to create a vision of who we are, what we are doing, and to improve the level of expertise with which we do them.  I must ensure that our programs and educators are growing to meet the needs of the whole child and that we are inspiring the development of every child’s fullest potential.  Without hesitation, I expect to be held accountable every step of the way.

How has the support of Vestavia Hills faculty and staff affected you?

I would not be here if it were not for the support and encouragement of our faculties, Dr. Blair, our board members and community.  I recognize that I am not here on my own accord but by the hard work of the team that I work with and our dedicated faculties at each school.  As I stated previously, it is almost overwhelming because I recognize the confidence that people have in me.  I am a small piece of the puzzle, but now I will be the one who is responsible for making sure that each and every piece of the puzzle fits together. 


Posting Date: July 22, 2014
Expires 8/08/14

Meet and Greet with Superintendent Phillips

Vestavia Hills residents will have an opportunity to meet new district Superintendent Sheila Phillips on August 7 at a community event.

Four civic organizations — the Vestavia Hills PTO Council, Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce, Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation, and Leadership Vestavia Hills — are hosting a Community Meet and Greet with Superintendent Phillips on August 7 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the city’s Board of Education building, located at 1204 Montgomery Highway in Vestavia Hills.

Phillips was named in June as Vestavia Hills’ new superintendent, and will take office on August 1. She has served for the past two years as the district’s assistant superintendent under Dr. Jamie Blair, who recently stepped down as superintendent to transition into an advisory role. 

Posting Date: July 22, 2013
Expires 9/30/14

Facebook and Twitter

Vestavia Hills City School district now has a Facebook page and Twitter account. These social media tools will be used to disseminate school related information to a wider audience. Please "like" us on Facebook at our page Vestavia Hills City Schools and "follow" us on Twitter @vhcschools.