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Veteran educators named directors of K-12 instruction, pre-K for Metro Schools

Kelly Henderson named Executive Director of Instruction, Phyllis Phillips Director of Prekindergarten    

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools has promoted Kelly Henderson to executive director of instruction and Phyllis Phillips to director of prekindergarten.

Henderson will oversee curriculum, instruction and professional development K-12 for all Metro Schools. Phillips will oversee compliance for Metro’s 163 pre-Kindergarten programs, supervise the enrollment process for more than 2,700 pre-K students and manage the district’s Pre-Kindergarten State Grant.

“These two appointments show our commitment to educating all children, pre-K through graduation,” said Jay Steele, chief academic officer. “Both Henderson and Phillips bring new ideas and innovation to their work resulting in higher student achievement and increased learning opportunities for teachers.”

Henderson began her career in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn., as a business technology instructor and joined Metro Schools in 1992 in the same capacity serving Glencliff and Overton High Schools. In 2007, she became one of the district’s career and technical education coordinators and was later promoted to executive director of instruction for Metro high schools.

She earned her bachelor’s in business administration from Trevecca Nazarene University and her master’s and Ed. S. in curriculum and instruction from Middle Tennessee University. In July, she will be awarded a doctorate in educational leadership and strategic change from Lipscomb University. She is currently involved with the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development as well as Leaning Forward (National Staff Development Council).

Phillips started her career as a teacher. After teaching in Metro Schools for 15 years, she became a reading specialist and, after a series of promotions, she became the district’s pre-K coordinator.

A graduate of Metro Schools, she attended Tennessee State University where she received her undergraduate degree before earning a master’s in administration and supervision from Trevecca Nazarene University. She serves as chair of Alignment Nashville’s prekindergarten committee and led the committee in creating iTRAILS, Tennessee’s first kindergarten readiness portal. The site provides resources for educators and families to prepare children for kindergarten success at