May 12, 2018

Beloved Teacher, Jimmy Phillips, Retires After 10 Years at Prince

Written by Amy Frierson


When word of Jimmy Phillips’s retirement spread among the student body at Prince Avenue Christian School, the main sentiment was disappointment that such a special teacher would no longer be at Prince.  Many alumni attribute the instruction in Mr. Phillips’s class as a mainstay of their preparation for college.  Many seniors explain they would never have made it through their Dual Enrollment classes without his class their junior year, and many underclassmen regret that they will not have the opportunity to sit under the instruction of this teacher who has become somewhat of a Prince Avenue icon. 

“Mr. Phillips constantly challenged us always helping us to be the best writers we could be,” explained one graduating senior who credits Mr. Phillips for making her the writer she is today.  “He poured into us more than just his knowledge of English.  He told us stories about his life.  I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to be in his class.”

Mr. Phillips is married to Julie, and they have two daughters and two granddaughters, Finley in 1st grade and Taylor in 5th, both of whom attend Prince.  Mr. Phillips has been teaching school for 46 years with the last 10 of those at Prince Avenue teaching American Literature and Advanced Placement Language and Composition.  He has also served as the head coach for Boys Varsity Golf, taking the team to the state level for the past five years and has been the assistant coach for Boys Varsity Basketball.  Prior to joining the staff at Prince Avenue in 2008, Mr. Phillips taught at Madison County, Buford, and Elbert County high schools and retired from teaching public school after 36 years.

In addition to the joys of teaching at the school where his granddaughters attend, Mr. Phillips especially enjoys the Christian atmosphere at Prince.  “I am thankful to be able to pray with and for the students and their families.”  Mr. Phillips says that every day teaching at Prince has been special, but his favorite memories are when alumni drop in for a visit.  “I especially enjoy having former students return and tell me how prepared they were for college work.”

Mr. Phillips has also garnered the respect of his colleagues at Prince Avenue.  Prince Librarian, Nancy Simpson explains, “Jimmy Phillips is one of the Godliest men I have ever had the pleasure to work alongside.  His love for the Lord is clearly evident in all that he does, whether it is teaching English, helping to work football games, or coaching basketball and golf.  He is a treasure beyond measure who will be greatly missed from the halls of Prince Avenue Christian School!”

This same integrity and character are evident in the advice Mr. Phillips shares with students.  “My advice has always been the same.  First, walk the path God sets forth for you, and He will open the doors that need to be opened.  Second, love and enjoy each of your family members. Family is one of God’s greatest gifts to us.  And last, life is much too short to wear uncomfortable shoes.”

As for the future, Mr. Phillips’s aspirations for retirement are quite simple.  “I plan to ride tractors and play golf.”  However, his former students might be inspired to know he has one additional goal, “I am contemplating writing a novel.” 

One can be confident that Jimmy Phillips will have an immediate following of former students and colleagues should he complete that task. 


                                                                               Mr. Phillips on the golf course with students Grant Roland and 
                                                                               Bradley Lastinger.