KO says “au revoir” to French teacher Sarah Phillips


As the 2022-2023 school year comes to a close, Kingswood Oxford bids farewell to French teacher Sarah Phillips. After completing her year-long French teaching internship at KO, Ms. Phillips reflected on the many lessons and memories she gained from her experience at KO and how they will serve her well in her future academic ventures.

Ms. Phillips joined KO this year as a French teaching intern, where she taught introductory French classes in the Middle School and the Upper School. Throughout her internship experience, Ms. Phillips was mentored and supported by Middle School French teacher and Associate Head of the Middle School Kathy Dunn, Upper School French teacher Ryan Brodeur, and Director of Teaching and Learning Heidi Hojnicki. When sharing her KO experience, Ms. Phillips cherished the community she found at Kingswood Oxford. “The Middle School as a whole is very close-knit,” she reflected. “All the teachers know each other really well and support each other.”

While Ms. Phillips entered KO with a B.A. in Global Studies and Francophone Studies from St. Lawrence University, she learned in her time here that her education would always be evolving. “I learned that, as teachers, even though we officially have completed our education, we always have more to learn,” she shared. One major learning experience for Ms. Phillips came in the form of coaching. At KO, Ms. Phillips took on assistant coaching roles each season with middle school “B” soccer, girls basketball, and softball—three sports with which Ms. Phillips had minimal coaching experience. Ms. Phillips embraced this challenge as a learning opportunity, growing a new understanding of and love for three new sports.

Ms. Phillips has shown her positive energy and care inside KO’s classrooms, but much of her previous educational work has been outdoors. Through outdoor education, Ms. Phillips teaches social-emotional learning in various outdoor activities that are based on adventure, challenge, and teamwork. Ms. Phillips admires how outdoor education allows students to break their self-perceptions of being ‘good’ and ‘bad’ students. “When you’re outdoors doing a team building activity or a ropes course you get to be a new person, different than who you are in the classroom,” she shared. Ms. Phillips admires how Kingswood Oxford incorporates outdoor education into its curriculum through form trips each year.

The future for Ms. Phillips is bright following her French teaching internship at KO. Reflecting on her previous experiences with outdoor education, Ms. Phillips enjoyed the change of pace that classroom teaching brought. As she looks ahead, Ms. Phillips is eager to continue exploring new educational pathways to find her unique career path. Both the KO Middle School and Upper School are so grateful to have had Ms. Phillips on campus this past year, and we look forward to seeing all that she accomplishes in the future!