Kelli Philips knew she wanted to grow as a leader within the Ottumwa Community School District. So, in May of 2019, Kelli, who was a Curriculum and Instruction Lead at James Elementary, began advanced level coursework at VITERBO University to earn her Administrator’s License. In her O.L.A. application, she stated that she needed to expand her leadership skills both inside the school district and out if she wanted to grow as a leader.   

Kelli Phillips
Kelli Phillips, Class of 2020

And she was able to do just that, leading to her being named Pickwick Early Childhood Center Principal for the upcoming school year. “My time in OLA taught me about service leadership and how to encourage others to lead. I also learned so much about all of the helpful resources our community has to offer. I will use all of my learning through collaboration with the families and staff at Pickwick so that we may continue to meets the needs of all students.”

Phillips had advice for anyone considering applying for the Ottumwa Leadership Academy. “Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and truly invest your time and energy in the OLA experience! The learning and connections are worth it! Growth can be uncomfortable but is also rewarding!”