Faculty Tribute: Curtis Phillips

Leo Min ’26 in Features | May 26, 2024

          Mr. Phillips has been my biggest inspiration this year. As my advisor, he always pushed me to  put my best foot forward every day by taking  the extra step. At first, I simply saw him as someone who would excuse my tardies and check up on me during advisory lunches. However, this changed quickly as Mr. Phillips became someone I would reach out to and talk with about my struggles throughout the school year. I have learned many life lessons from Mr. Phillips, including one that particularly resonated with me: always look ahead and move on from the past. Earlier in the year, when I experienced a personal setback, this advice motivated me to push forward. Mr. Phillips never failed to make my day, whether teaching me ICAPS in the Kennedy House blue room or shooting me a smile in the lab. 

          Now, Mr. Phillips took duty night seriously. When on duty, he made sure everyone focused on getting their work done and not horsing around after study hall. I don’t know how he could walk up the stairs to the third floor every 10 minutes, but I am guessing he developed stamina from his experience with track. Speaking of track, I know that Mr. Phillips was a powerhouse in terms of coaching the fielders during practice. Hearing stories from my friends, I fully understand that he does not play around; he simply makes his athletes better. In fact, I was awestruck while talking to him about the mechanics of running. While I presumed the action of running is easy, he explained that it isn’t that simple. He taught me about specific mechanics that can make you run faster, like the angles your arms make when you run. All in all, I was in shock.

          Hearing about Mr. Phillips’ impending departure was probably the biggest bummer of the term.  After talking to him, I learned another facet that made him so great: he truly cared about his family. I will always remember his stories about long car trips visiting his son in college and how he sometimes had to get home instead of chaperoning our rowdy horseplay in the House. Mr. Phillips didn’t hide his caring heart, and he always put a smile on all the faces of the Kennedy boys. I will never forget my time with Mr. Phillips, for he inspired me greatly during my long III Form year. 

          Mr. Phillips, thank you for everything. We all love you, and we will miss you. Oh, and please don’t dish me a strike.