Paige Phillips Appointed as Interim Head of Upper School

Spartanburg Day School is pleased to announce Paige Phillips has been appointed as interim head of Upper School.  

Phillips currently serves as Upper School dean of students at SDS. She has 28 years of experience in education including 12 years in both leadership and teaching roles at the Day School. Since joining SDS in 2010, she has served in a variety of roles including Upper School teacher, grade dean and Student Government Association advisor. She was named dean of students in 2017. Previous experience includes teaching in elementary, intermediate, middle and junior high school classrooms in the Carolinas and Georgia.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Phillips went on to earn a master’s degree in secondary administration and supervision from Converse College. Merits include three Teacher of the Year awards over the course of her career, most recently in 2019 when she was named SDS’s Larrabee Endowed Chair.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Upper School,” Phillips said. “The Day School has played an essential role in my professional journey, and I remain deeply committed to this community. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to grow and learn in an environment where each person shares a genuine sense of belonging and invests in academic rigor. I look forward to working with students, teachers, and parents to build on the Upper School’s superb existing foundation.”

Head of School Rachel Deems said Phillips’s appointment brings both a high level of experience and an established respect and trust to the Upper School, and to SDS.

“We are fortunate to have someone who is known, trusted and who will bring an immediate understanding of the mission of the Day School to her work as a division head and as a leadership team member,” Deems said. “Paige is respected by her colleagues, students, and their families. She is a relationship builder and excellent communicator. An internal succession during a time of transition is a notable strength of our school and an indication of the progression of Paige's own educational journey, commitment to life-long learning and her commitment to the Day School.”

Phillips called SDS a “second home” to her family. Her wife Ashli Gaines coaches SDS’s state championship swim teams, and their children Sam and Wren are enrolled in 11th and 5th grades, respectively.

“The sense of belonging we feel is my hope for every student and family who steps onto our campus,” she said.

Phillips will begin in her new role on July 1. In the months ahead, she will continue to work closely with current Head of Upper School Kevin Weatherill to ensure a smooth transition prior his move to lead the Upper School at St. John’s School in Houston, Texas.