New Columbus city schools chief will take over June 11

Published 3:52 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Del R. Phillips will take over a few weeks early as superintendent of the Columbus Municipal School District.

The school board Monday moved Phillips’ start date up to June 11 from July 1. Retiring superintendent Lester Beason will stay around until July 1 to help Phillips with the transition.

“My role will not be policy making any more,” Beason said. “I might be able to help him (Phillips) assess some of the issues he’ll have to address. … I’ll be advisory in nature and essentially be at his call.”

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Phillips was able to re-negotiate his current contract in Springfield, Mo., for an earlier start in Columbus, said Columbus board president Glenn Lautzenhiser.

“It’s to everyone’s benefit that Dr. Phillips can transition into the superintendent’s role a little earlier and he is just as excited as we are to get on board,” Lautzenhiser said.