Lisa Philip

Education Reporter

Before joining WUNC as the station's education reporter, Lisa Philip covered schools in Howard County, Maryland for the Baltimore Sun newspapers. She traveled from school playgrounds to the state legislature, writing about everything from a Girl Scout friendship bench project to a state investigation into local school officials' alleged hiding of public records.

Lisa initially became interested in education reporting while working for an after school music education program in five Baltimore City schools. In her former life, she trained and worked as a professional violist and arts administrator. She has been telling stories since age 5, when she wrote and (poorly) illustrated her first book, "Mary and the Key Lime Pie."

File photo of UNC Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith and UNC system President Margaret Spellings responding to questions about the aborted Western Carolina University chancellor search at a July 27, 2018 press conference.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

The UNC Board of Governors, which oversees North Carolina's public universities, has voted to changed the way chancellor searches are conducted. The new policy includes a section on confidentiality mandating that candidates' identities not be disclosed to the public.

Edwin A. Anderson Elementary School 2nd grade teacher Jenna Parker talks with students on Oct. 4, 2018 as they reflect on their experiences Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington.
Michael Cline Spencer / For WUNC

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

New Hanover County teacher Jenna Parker looks through her planner at her desk in her second grade classroom at Anderson Elementary School in Wilmington.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools, as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

Returning students might notice bigger crowds this fall at Western Carolina University, UNC Pembroke and Elizabeth City State University; enrollment is up at all three. Officials credit the state’s new NC Promise plan, which lowers tuition for in-state students at the three campuses to $500 per semester.

Krista Holland wanders past huddles of people at a storm shelter in Chapel Hill, N.C. Some are wearing Red Cross vests; others are in bathrobes and pajamas. The Wilmington principal is looking for any of her students who may have evacuated to the shelter before Hurricane Florence made landfall.

She recognizes a young man wearing earbuds.

"You remember me," the longtime educator says. "Ms. Holland?"

A flooded street in south Lumberton on Sunday, Sept. 16. 2018.
Jay Price / WUNC

School systems and universities across North Carolina remain closed early this week as tropical storm Florence continues to dump rain on the state. It’s unclear when some of the most affected campuses will reopen.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

Updated 2:46 p.m. | Sept. 12, 2018

Durham and Wake County school officials have announced they will close schools Thursday instead of dismissing students early, as had previously been announced. The decision follows parental concerns that an early dismissal would mean students are departing school just as hurricane-related weather is forecast to hit the Triangle.

The pedestal of the Silent Sam statue without the Confederate monument on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Updated 2:55 p.m. | Aug. 28, 2018

The Board of Trustees at UNC- Chapel Hill has until November 15 to decide the fate of Silent Sam, a Confederate monument that was recently toppled by protesters.

File photo of UNC Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith and UNC system President Margaret Spellings responding to questions about the aborted Western Carolina University chancellor search at a July 27, 2018 press conference.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Ten former members of the UNC Board of Governors have accused the sitting board of practicing bad governance.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

UNC system officials are fielding questions after a search for the next chancellor at Western Carolina University fell apart. A member of the UNC Board of Governors released the name of a leading candidate to an outside firm, according to emails obtained by the News and Observer. The candidate later dropped out.

calculator with the word college
Jake Rustenhoven / Flickr Creative Commons

Students at North Carolina's historically black colleges and universities face higher student loan default rates than their peers at other state universities, according to data from the US Department of Education. Durham businessman Greg Lindberg wants to help change this.

JCPS Career and Technical Education Director Suzanne Lujan (standing left) presents to Governor Roy Cooper and other state officials.
Courtesy of Johnston County Schools

Johnston County school leaders are hoping a new program will bring its students back to the district to teach. Participants will be able to complete an associate degree in teaching while still in high school. And an added perk: they won't have to pay for it.

Librarian Judy Allen Dodson sits in the Richard B. Harrison Community Library with pages from her children's books on July 9, 2018.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

Judy Allen Dodson remembers reading The Magic Tree House series to her seven-year-old son when he asked, “Mommy, how come I don’t see me? Any children that look like me in there?” “

And I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to write you that story’,” Dodson said.

A man walks out of the Art Institute at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham on Monday, July 2, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

The Art Institute campuses in Durham and Charlotte are expected to close sometime this year, according to a memo sent to employees Monday and obtained by the News & Observer. The decision, as well as the expected closing of South University in High Point, could affect approximately 3,000 students.

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Updated at 2:25 p.m.

UNC-Chapel Hill has been found in violation of federal law in the way it responded to complaints of sexual assault and harassment. The finding is the result of a five-year investigation into the university’s policies surrounding Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law.

An hour or so before sixth grade student Tucker composed a metaphor poem in his language arts class, he started his school day off with soccer. Much of the learning at The Catamount School happens through creating and experiences.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

On a recent spring morning, kids at the Catamount School in Sylva kick soccer balls into multiple goals on a field outside their school. The day has just begun at the school, which is nestled in the mountains of Jackson County in western North Carolina.

A sign in front of West Lumberton Elementary, the only Robeson County school that remains closed a year after Hurricane Matthew. The storm dumped about three feet of standing water into the building, and destroyed many of its students' homes.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

A Robeson County elementary school damaged by Hurricane Matthew will close for good. The decision came after a group of parents pleaded to keep it open.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

More North Carolina teachers have responded to a working conditions survey than ever before. The results reveal 40 percent of participants don't believe class sizes are conducive to meeting the needs of all students.

During the last week before EOG testing, third grader Eleanor raises her hand to answer a word problem in her classroom at Smith Elementary School in Burlington.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Third graders at Smith Elementary School in Burlington took a break from class on a recent Friday afternoon to reflect on what school had been like lately.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

A state senate committee has approved a bill giving four North Carolina communities the power to create their own charter schools. Critics say the legislation would re-segregate public schools in those areas.

Harry Smith, center, was elected as the new UNC Board of Governors chairman.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

The panel that oversees North Carolina's public universities is changing leadership.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Thursday elected Greenville businessman Harry Smith as chairman.

Lucero is finishing up the third grade at her school in Alamance County. It's a high-pressure year -- not just for her, but for her mom too.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Every day when Ismari Molina was pregnant with her first daughter, she saw what she calls “the big star” on her way home from work.

YouTube / Durham Public Schools

The Durham school board has voted 6 to 1 to close schools to students on May 16. That's the date of a planned teacher demonstration at the state legislature in support of increased public school funding.

Peter Hans, the newly elected president of the N.C. Community College System, delivers remarks while North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, from left, House Speaker Tim Moore and Gov. Roy Cooper listen during a news conference in Raleigh
Gerry Broome / AP

A Raleigh-based government relations expert has been chosen to lead North Carolina’s community college system. The last president resigned after a little more than a year on the job.

The paddle Robbinsville High School principal David Matheson, and previous principals, have used to discipline students.
Jess Clark / WUNC

An attempt to ban corporal punishment in Robeson County schools has stalled. The effort was led by parents and child advocates.

To Jayla Hagans, a student organizer in Raleigh, school resource officers represent a big shift in school discipline that has disproportionately impacted students of color.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

This August, students at four elementary schools in rural Stanly County will return from summer vacation to fresh pencils, notebooks, and signs announcing the presence of armed officers on campus.

Thousands of people march down Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in support of gun control.
Alex Kolyer / For WUNC

High school students and allies seeking stronger gun control laws in North Carolina following last month's Florida school shooting are walking through downtown Raleigh in solidarity with a similar weekend rally in Washington.

A student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., attends a news conference about gun violence, Friday, March 23, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington, ahead of the Saturday March For Our Lives.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

This Saturday, students across North Carolina will join their peers from around the nation, yet again, to call for safer schools.

Elizabeth DeKonty, a fellow with the Public School Forum of North Carolina, speaks with Pattillo Middle School’s resilience team about strategies for supporting students, many of whom live in poverty.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

One day last fall, teachers sauntered past a wall in W.A. Pattillo Middle School in Tarboro as if they were studying works of art. Really, they were looking at the names of all 265 of their students, each written neatly on an index card.

Raul Jimenez, one of the alleged Durham confederate monument topplers, was acquitted of all charges Monday. He spoke about his continued fight against racism on Thursday in front of the spot where the monument used to stand.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

The nine activists accused of toppling a confederate monument in Durham are no longer facing criminal charges. But they say their fight against racism will continue.

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