Booker T. Washington High School can claim to have the best principal in Texas.
Houston ISD announced Wednesday that Carlos Phillips, who has led the Independence Heights campus since 2015, has been named as this year’s winner of the statewide H-E-B Excellence in Education Secondary Principal Award. Phillips was recognized during a virtual “Toast to Texas Teachers” event that included appearances from actors Eva Longoria and Matthew McConaughey, former NBA player Matt Bonner and fashion designer Kendra Scott.
Phillips, who beat four other finalists for the award, received a $10,000 cash prize as well as a $25,000 grant for Washington.
“This is a very humbling feeling to be recognized for this prestigious award,” Phillips said. “There are many educators in our state who could have been selected, however, I am honored to be able to represent our great school district and such a historic school with amazing staff and students in this capacity.”
Representatives from Texas-based grocer H-E-B told Phillips he was a finalist in February, when he also was recognized as the Secondary Principal of the Year for HISD. His school has been recognized for its drone and rocketry programs, according to HISD.
Phillips, who holds a doctoral degree in education leadership and cultural studies from the University of Houston, has spent 20 years in education. He was a teacher and assistant principal before becoming the principal at Washington.
“Dr. Phillips is an exceptional leader who exemplifies the hard work, dedication and resolve it takes to transform student outcomes,” HISD interim superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “I’m incredibly excited for Dr. Phillips and his family. He has made HISD proud, and I’m excited to see him take Booker T. Washington High School to the next level of academic greatness.”