Return to Headlines

El Cerrito, Kennedy Hire Familiar Faces to Principal Positions

Two familiar faces are returning to the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Patricia Crespo and Felicia Phillips were hired to lead El Cerrito and Kennedy high schools, respectively.

Crespo served as vice principal at El Cerrito High School from 2007 to 2009, and Phillips is a 1984 Kennedy High School graduate. The Board of Education approved the hiring of the two leaders at a recent board meeting.

"The District was very fortunate to be able to attract school leaders like Principal Crespo and Principal Phillips, who not only have a breadth of experience and success, but who also know and are familiar with our schools and communities," Superintendent Matthew Duffy said. "Principal Phillips and Principal Crespo will bring great things to the Kennedy and El Cerrito communities and will help the schools become some of the best high schools in the country."

A longtime vice principal at several high schools in the Bay Area, Crespo joins WCCUSD after serving as vice principal at Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo. She has also taught English and served as the Puente Coordinator at Logan High School in Union City.

Crespo, who succeeds Edith Jordan-McCormick has also served as vice principal of Sequoia and Envision high schools, and she worked as a director for SER Latino in the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Crespo received her undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology from UC Santa Cruz and graduate degrees in English education from Teachers College at Columbia University and education administration from UC Berkeley. She is currently a doctoral student at UC Davis.

Phillips, who succeeds Phil Johnson, most recently served as vice principal at Berkeley High School. She began teaching in 2004 as a math teacher in Boston after a career in telecommunications. Phillips taught in Atlanta and was a middle school assistant principal and elementary school principal in Oakland.

After graduating from Kennedy in 1984, Phillips attended Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering Sciences. She also studied advanced technology at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2001, Phillips began undergraduate coursework in mathematics at Georgia State University. She later received a masters degree in teaching and curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

School begins Monday, August 20 for both El Cerrito and Kennedy high school.