Farewell, Phillips

Photo taken by Michael Lancaster Margie Phillips conducts the choir during a concert held at the Atkinson Memorial Church in Spring 2018.


By: MIRIAM LEE 10/03/18

Margie Phillips conducts the choir during a concert held at the Atkinson Memorial Church in Spring 2018.


Suzanne Edwards is taking over all the choirs, piano and marimba. Valerie Johnson is teaching drums and creativity. — Seanna Bloemer, ACA Director

Alliance Charter Academy (ACA) has lost their multi-talented music teacher. Students are at a loss, missing their beloved teacher, but also missing their friend.

Margie Phillips, former instructor at ACA, now works full-time at Elmonica Elementary School in Beaverton, Oregon. According to Mrs. Phillips, she needed the full-time position, in order to help her daughter pay for college.

Students and families have expressed their gratitude toward multiple opportunities that Mrs. Phillips has provided. For example, All State Choir, CCC competitions, and all outside ACA opportunities.

Allison Jackson, who was her student for four years, spoke about the valuable lessons that she will carry on throughout her life.

She says, “Margie taught me that choir is not only about singing as an individual, but as part of a group. She taught me that you have to work as a team to make beautiful music.” She went on to explain how Mrs. Phillips always kept the room alive and interesting.

An overwhelming number of students have expressed how Mrs. Phillips impacted their lives for the better.

“Margie has always been a role model for me, she is so smart, talented, and she is always true to herself,” says Chloe Lute.

She said that Mrs. Phillips helped her through the beginning of high school, when she needed a friend most. Many students have spoken about what an inspiration Mrs. Phillips has been to them and how much she’ll be missed.

Mrs. Phillips loves teaching and spreading the sound of music to anyone willing to open themselves up to it. Not only did she love and inspire her students, but they also shared the passion for music with her.

Over an email interview, September 2018, Mrs. Phillips sent this message for her students.

“You are very dear to me and I will never forget you. I think of you often and wonder how you are. You have made a mark on me (positively!) and I am not the same; I am a much better person because of my time with you.”

She continued (getting a bit more personal about her class.)

“Remembering how the choir sang last year, ‘set me as a seal upon your heart…’.  I still love you and hope you feel that with you! I carry your faces, voices, kind words, hugs, and beautiful sounds with me. You brought me joy and peace. Thank you.”

Mrs. Phillips shared a story about her first day at Elmonica Elementary and mentioned that the children had obviously never heard somebody who could sing before.

She said, “You should have seen their eyes on the first day of class when I belted out Aretha Franklin‘s “RESPECT”; it definitely got their attention!  I swear some of them almost fell over.” One student even said that Mrs. Phillips should “be a singer!” It is clear that Mrs. Phillips will continue to inspire children of all ages, no matter the situation.



Interview over email with Margie Phillips 9/7/18

Personal Interview with Allison Jackson 9/8/18

Personal Interview with Chloe Lute 9/8/18

Email exchange with Seanna Bloemer 9/30/18