S. Blanton Phillips III

Have you previously served on the NEXT High School Board (Planning Committee)?


The state charter school law requires at least 50% of the elected board members have either K-12 experience or business experience. Do you meet this requirement?


Please give a brief biographical sketch. (Include connection to NEXT High School)

I am a Greenville native, my work is here in Greenville, and I plan to be here the rest of my life! ...  I am a graduate of Christ Church, Duke University (BA), and the business school at UNC-Chapel Hill (MBA). I have spent most of my career in the leadership and development of a regional staffing and recruiting firm, but I have been involved in a number of entrepreneurial endeavors as well. I am currently the CEO of Phillips Staffing, in addition to serving on the boards of a local bank, the state chamber of commerce, and a small technology products company. Other experience includes franchise food service, retail sporting goods, and business-to-business services. I have been extremely excited about the program at Next High School since I first heard about it. We enrolled our son, Sam, in the first-ever class of 9th graders, because we were so impressed by (and intrigued by) the concept, and how it could engage our son and harness his interests and talents better than a traditional learning environment.

Please briefly state your qualifications and reasons for serving on the board at NEXT High School.

* Christ Church Episcopal School, Greenville, SC 1987
* Duke University, 1991, BA in Public Policy Studies
* Kenan-Flagler School of Business (UNC), 1996, MBA

* CEO of Phillips Staffing, a regional staffing, recruiting, and placement firm
* Part-owner of Meridian Resources, an outplacement and career coaching firm
* Board of Directors, GrandSouth Bank
* Board of Directors, SC Chamber of Commerce
* Board of Directors, SubAir Systems, LLC
* Consulting work with several local businesses

* Wife, Beth; two children, Sam (9th grade at Next) and Sarah (7th grade); two dogs and one cat
* I enjoy golf, music, reading, baseball and following Duke basketball

I believe the Next model is a blueprint for the future of education, i.e. for the development of career-ready individuals for the economy that they will encounter when they enter the workforce. They will need more than just ""academic"" skills and accomplishments -- they will need the kind of personal resources and savvy that they are developing at Next. My company is keenly interested in workforce development as well as economic development in South Carolina. There is nothing more important to our state, to our economy, and to our youth than the effectiveness of our education -- especially in terms of how well our kids are prepared to be contributors, innovators, and leaders in their adult lives.

I greatly appreciate the work that has been done to get the program off the ground. I view the next phase of the Board as a unique opportunity, (a) to continue building on the foundation that has been created, (b) to bring the perspective of a parent of a Next ""peer"" to the Board, and (c) to utilize my career experiences and knowledge (especially that from the world of employment, HR management, and jobs) to help with the continued enhancement and development of Next HS.