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Leadership

Interim principal michael philippsen

Greetings!

My name is Michael Philippsen and I am the new interim principal at Mayo Demonstration School. I believe a strong education is rooted in a deep love of learning tightly interwoven with a healthy productive struggle, and I am humbled and honored to join a community with a rich history of academic excellence and community engagement. The commencement of a principalship at Mayo comes with immense responsibility; I know many before me have put in tremendous work to help students feel a sense of belonging and learn as much as possible, and I stand ready and overjoyed at the opportunity to get to work. 

Education is the work I love. My wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, father, step-mother, and sisters are all educators. I could not wait to get started and began substitute teaching as a college student. After graduation, Tulsa and the most formative years of my professional life awaited. I started my teaching career at the former Gilcrease Middle School, and it was at this wonderful school that I experienced the joy of seeing students love learning and love community. They anchored me in a simple truth: there is no better place to be than a school building in which students, families, teachers, and staff care for one another. I treasured six years in the classroom teaching science, math, and reading. Prior to becoming an administrator, I had the privilege of recruiting teachers and counseling college-bound seniors. My last four years have been spent as the assistant principal at Carver Middle School. 

My catalyst to school administration stemmed from a sense of gratitude. Numerous teachers, coaches, and community members poured into my development as an educator, and I felt a sense of opportunity to collaborate with educators to provide world-class learning opportunities for Tulsa’s incredible young people! 

Parents and community members are an integral part of making the magic of learning happen each day. My experience at Carver taught me so wonderfully loud and clear how the most exceptional of learning opportunities only occur with strong parent and community engagement. I know this is true at any school, and I know that - in particular - parent and community engagement is a cornerstone of the Mayo experience. I will stand ready each day to listen, support, and encourage you to continue to be a part of the Mayo community in the way you believe is most meaningful.

As your school leader, I will work tirelessly to partner with teachers, staff, and community members to help students embrace challenges, and fall even deeper in love with learning. I cannot wait to meet you, learn from you, and if you like, make you a fresh cup of coffee in my office. Look for more information soon about opportunities for meet-and-greets in advance of the new school year!

Mayo is the place to be; let’s get to work!

My best,
Mr. Philippsen