Phillip “Phil” Wilson was born and raised in Newark NJ, where he attended Newark Public School and attended Essex County Schools of Technology “Newark Tech”. Phil comes from a Career Technical Education “CTE” background with over 20 years as an Auto Collision Tech and over 17 years as an Auto Collision Instructor.
Phil has multiple certifications in the Auto Collision Field. One as a State Certified Teacher, American Services of Excellence “ASE”, I-Car Instructor in Auto Collision and is certified to teach the trade of Auto Collision in three different States.
Phil is a loving husband to his wife, Latasha Wilson, who donated a kidney to him in 2019. Phil is also the proud father of two daughters, Aniya and Kyla, and three sons Noah, and twins Logan and Landan. Phil has a life mission of educating the community in the trades industry as well as traditional education. He believes that everyone should be able to learn a trade tapping into various forms of learning, hands on skills and career based fields.
2020 Candidates Forum Q&A
Phillip Wilson Introductory Remarks
My long-term vision is to bring back Trades and the arts. For example, the arts programs have the potential to help improve student's memory and concentration skills, develop decision-making and critical thinking skills, enhance communication and listening skills, but also encourage focus and discipline. Trades: A students will be able to learn with his hands and build a spare career. For example, Home Economics teaches students how to sew, cook, iron, properly used a washer and dryer and balance a check book. It incorporates math, reading and writing. Cross curriculum learning.
There’s a lack of people in the trade industry. If you look around the City of Newark you see Auto Shop “auto mechanic, Auto Collision” a lot of construction being built and restaurants with this vision of local businesses hiring students from the community. I will create programs as well as community engagement initiatives to drive the participation in these programs.
Q&A Round 1: Addressing the current situation confronting our educational system
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the educational landscape across the country. Schools in Newark are “closed until further notice.” Candidates will be asked three questions about the impact of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic on learning. Please connect your answers to the critical levers you have available to you as a school board member: Policy, Supervision of the Superintendent, and Budget.
1-A. As a prospective Board of Education member, what would you recommend to ensure continued learning for all students while school is closed?
As a prospective Board of Education member, I will suggest that Teachers should be able to be online between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. each remote school day. While many professional practices might take place in that window, the teacher is to prioritize communications with students and their families. This may be in the form of feedback, posting, commenting on posts, and answering questions from students, parents, and colleagues. Remaining time should be used for planning, organizing, collaborating with colleagues and virtual meetings with school leaders.
1-B. If the situation stabilizes by July 1, 2020, what recommendations do you have for the summer months to address any learning loss that might have occurred during the school closure? If the situation stabilizes by July 1, 2020, I will recommend for districts to begin to offer targeted out-of-school interventions to the students most at risk of backsliding. In designing such programs, center the program around evidence-based curriculum. In addition to academic content, include hands-on or recreational activities to attract students. Ensure that program structure enables sufficient time on task and have policies or incentives that encourage consistent attendance. Invest in hiring the most effective teachers. Regardless of the design, these policies should offer engaging options for students over the summer so that summer learning programs do not feel like punishment for students who would rather be enjoying summer vacation. Doing so would set more students up for success for the upcoming school year.
1-C. What changes, if any, would you recommend for the 20-21 academic year to address the current interruption? It will be my pleasure to welcome myself as a NBOE member for the 2020-21 school year. I will be excited to work with my board colleagues to offer an incredible scope of courses and programs that will build on students/ parent strengths, ignite their passions, interests, meet your needs in the upcoming year. Our school district will have a vision that you will not only graduate, but graduate with the skills and abilities to be a successful in Career and Community. With this current interruption we strongly need more technology in the classroom. If used correctly, mobile devices and the applications they support, will help prepare students for their future careers. It gives students the opportunities to enhance the interaction with their classmates and teachers by collaboration.
Q&A Round 2: Articulating your stance on a specific area of responsibility
As an elected official to the school board, you are required to collaborate and make difficult decisions with the eight other members of the board, as well as build public support for your positions. These decisions focus on issues concerning your primary responsibilities: the vision and goals for the district, the development and enforcement of district policies, the performance of the superintendent, and the development and adoption of the annual budget. In this round, we ask you to select one area of responsibility and articulate what changes you would advocate and work for in your chosen area.
2-A. On which area of responsibility would you like to focus on for this round: Vision and goals, district policy, evaluation of the superintendent, or use of the budget? What changes would you like to see in that area, and why?
2-B. Describe, using an example from your professional career, how you build coalitions among your colleagues to make change happen. Describing my professional career, which is in CTE that can be split into 16 career clusters that is a HIGH demands careers: Health Sciences, Business, Sales, Finance, IT (information technology), STEM “ Science, technology, engineering, and math” , Manufacturing, Logistics, Hospitality, Government, Public Safety and Law, Agriculture, Human services, Construction, Art Audio/visual technology, Transportation (automotive auto collision) and Communications. Career and technical education (CTE) is the practice of teaching skills-based careers in middle school (6th grade), high school, and postsecondary institutions. I will show the importance of these trades to my follow colleagues to see that it’s a need here for NBOE. This means CTE’s career tracks teach students life skills and career skills at the same time, jump-starting their lives and turning them into productive members of their communities.
2-C. What work do you imagine you must do to ensure the community understands and supports your position?
Q&A Round 3: Increasing student voice
Before the context changed so dramatically this year, the Trust worked with seven high school students across the district to prepare them to develop questions for and facilitate this forum. Due to the pandemic and the need for physical distancing, the Trust was not able to complete this work. We did hold two preparatory sessions with the seven students. The students wanted prospective school board members to speak to their plans for increasing student voice at every level of the system.
3-A. As a prospective Board of Education member, what current structures do you believe allow students to contribute to the decision-making that impacts their educational lives? Please be specific in naming the structure and articulating exactly how student voices are captured and used in either school or district decision-making? Also, speak to how you might strengthen this structure. As a prospective Board of Education member, I would love to have student participation helping us Board members make the right decision that will impact their live and future. Student voice allows students to share who they are, what they believe in, and why they believe what they do, with their peers, parents, teachers and their entire school. This enables students to step up their civic engagement, realizing that they can make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
3-B. What additional ideas do you have to increase the impact of student voice on decision making either at the school or the district level that are not currently in place? Do you commit to advocating for them if you are elected to the Board? As a board member I will fully support student participation and will listen to all their concerns like school lunches, handicap entrance, safety, and update technology.
Phillip Wilson Closing Remarks
The students in our district should have the same resources such as technology and other educational opportunities as other districts throughout the state. No child should be denied access to their teachers nor should they fall behind in their education due to a lack of technology. My plan will be to ensure ALL Students will have access to the most up-to-date technology i.e. chrome books and E-Textbooks. Most textbooks are expensive compared to purchasing the book in electronic form. This can save money via the budget and get up to date with technology at the same time. With this being done teachers will be able to send information electronically so parents won’t have to come out to the school to pick up homework packages. That would support a situation that we are in now dealing with Covid-19. This would’ve been very helpful. This is why I am running to implement these changes in the school system with emphasis on the Trades, Arts and Technology. Please mail in your vote May 12, 2020.