Phillips Middle turns 50

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:08 PM

Nothing quite compares to the sound of more than 500 screaming middle school students on their school’s birthday.

The students at Phillips Middle School proved this Tuesday as they celebrated the school’s 50th birthday.
The students filled the gym and spent some time looking back on the school they currently call home.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Superintendent Tom Forcella said that this is a milestone that is about more than just the building.
“We think about the history of this place, the community and its people,” he said. “If these walls could talk they would have incredible success stories, victories and accomplishments that make up this school’s fine tradition to tell.”
Forcella added that it’s the relationships that make Phillips a standout school.
“This is also about relationships,” Forcella said. “Let’s reflect on what this school has meant to your lives, but more importantly the people that make up your Phillips experience, your friends and teachers. That’s what you’ll remember 50 years from this moment.”
CHCCS school board member James Barrett talked about his time at Phillips and said that despite all the changes, some things will remain the same.
“I know that you all have just as great teachers as I did when I was a student here,” Barrett said. “I encourage you not to think of Phillips as just a building but as a community and of all the great teachers you get to enjoy during your time here.”
Two faculty members at Phillips were also a part of the school’s inaugural class. Seventh-grade English language arts teacher Becky Campbell and Counselor Anne Brashear recounted their fondest memories of their former school.
“When I first came here they didn’t have cheerleaders,” said Campbell. “There was no auditorium and the guidance office was the principal’s office.”
“I remember Ms. Campbell as head cheerleader,” Brashear said. “One of my main memories was of the P.E. uniform.”
Brashear said that she was not a fan of the green, one-piece uniform but instead liked the yellow ninth-grade uniforms.
As each former student talked about their time at Phillips, old yearbook photos of them were displayed on the wall behind them. Other times old yearbook photos showed what Phillips Middle was like over its 50 years.
Fortunately for the students, the anniversary happened to sync up with their Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) celebration.
Following the time in the gym, the students were given cupcakes to celebrate the birthday of their school. But to celebrate their positive behavior they had their pick of indoor and outdoor activities, ranging from a nail salon and computer games to water balloons and basketball.
One of the most popular events was the dunking booth where students had three attempts to dunk one of the faculty members into a pool of cold water.
It was also a time to thank the community for raising $5,000 for school improvements.
As the students enjoyed the celebration, Philips parent Elizabeth Welsby summed up Phillips Middle.
“The building may be old but it’s the people inside that make it wonderful,” she said.