School Board Hires Superintendent With Past Controversies

NEWBERG, Ore. (AP) — The Newberg School District has named as its next superintendent a man who was put on leave amid an investigation in his most recent superintendent role and who resigned from another superintendent position after retweeting an offensive remark.

The school board voted 5-2 on Tuesday to enter into a contract with Stephen Phillips, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Phillips most recently served as the superintendent of the Jewell school district in Oregon’s Coast Range. He was put on paid leave in March pending the results of an investigation. According to the Daily Astorian, board members have not shared the reason for the investigation.

Phillips worked in Beaverton previously as deputy superintendent but was forced to resign in 2018 after retweeting an offensive remark about undocumented immigrants.

Newberg School Board chair Dave Brown, vice-chair Brian Shannon, and board members Renee Powell, Trevor DeHart, and newly appointed member Raquel Peregrino de Brito voted yes, and board members Rebecca Piros and Brandy Penner voted no.

The board’s conservative majority took action last year to ban employees from displaying “political” or “controversial” signs, a measure that started as a ban on Black Lives Matter and pride flags. In the months since, the board fired its superintendent without cause, and numerous school and district administrators have resigned from the district.