Sarah Phillips grew up in an activist family; her parents helped start one of the oldest women’s centers in the country and one of her earliest memories is “Skating Away for the ERA”– the Equal Rights Amendment. Because of her parents’ example, Sarah has always been involved in social justice activism.
She has been working to improve public education for over twenty years. After college, she taught middle school in the Oakland, CA public schools and high school in the county juvenile hall. These experiences were the first time she saw structural racism and classism in action, and she has spent the rest of her career trying to build more equitable schools and communities. With a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan and a PhD in social policy from Brandeis University, Sarah spent six years as a community social worker and now work as an education researcher. For many years, she studied student perceptions of their schools and classrooms; now she evaluate school improvement interventions as the Director of Research & Impact at Mass Insight Education & Research.
In addition to her profession, improving public education is how Sarah contributes to her community. She’s been involved in Somerville education politics since moving to town in 2009. As a volunteer, she conducted policy analysis that helped get pre-school classrooms in many of our K-8s. helped stop a proposed charter school, and served on the city’s Child and Youth Study Team and Argenziano’s School Improvement Council. She was first elected to the School Committee in 2019 and is honored to represent Ward 3.