Philip King FRCC Director

Philip King Named New Four Rivers Career Center Director
Posted on 06/14/2022
Philip KingPhilip King has been named the new director of Four Rivers Career Center.

The School District of Washington’s Board of Education approved the hiring of King during a special zoom meeting on Tuesday, June 7.

“I’m incredibly excited. I know there’s a lot of work ahead, but I’m ready to get started,” King said. “This was an opportunity I definitely wanted to pursue. I knew even if I didn’t get it, I’m still very happy with my teaching and coaching positions in the district. It was a win-win for me. It’s a great feeling to be given this opportunity. I think I’ve earned it. I’m looking forward to learning new things and getting to know new people.”

King will officially begin his new role on July 1. Interim FRCC Director Dr. Joe Dierks will return to his role as Director of Choice Programs.

“We are excited to have Mr. King join the leadership team as we venture into future growth at Four Rivers Career Center,” said SDOW Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Kephart. “He will be an asset as we move forward with our district’s Workforce Connections implementation and business partnership outreach.”

King, 40 years of age, has been with the School District of Washington since 2004. In his 18 years with the district, King began as a mathematics teacher at Washington High School for 12 years before moving to his most recent role as an engineering instructor in the Project Lead the Way Program at WHS and FRCC for the last six years.

“Mr. King’s prior experience at both Four Rivers Career Center and Washington High School will ease the transition to the director role and provide a familiar face to the district and community,” Kephart said. “Due to his years of teaching and coaching, his focus on students and families is vital to our students and those at our sending schools.”

King has been able to build relationships with the staff at FRCC over the last six years that will help with the transition into the role of director.

“Working at the Career Center for the last six years, I know we have a really strong staff. They all have such a passion for their specific trade,” King said. “It’s a professional environment with a lot of great people. The students are there to choose their career path. They are motivated about their future.”

Additionally, King has been Washington High School’s head softball coach for the last 14 years. He also spent three seasons as an assistant coach, giving him 17 years in the program. He resigned from his head coaching position after accepting his new role with the Career Center. During his time as head coach, KIng amassed an overall record of 219-155, which was highlighted by a Class 4 state championship this past season in 2021.

Under King’s direction, the softball program claimed district titles in 2016, 2017 and 2021, and Gateway Athletic Conference crowns in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021. The Lady Jays reached the Final Four twice under King’s guidance in 2016 (fourth place) and 2021 (first place).

With only one player graduating from last season’s team, Washington softball figures to have strong seasons ahead.

“It’s hard to walk away from a state championship team with most of your talent coming back, and a new field coming soon. The softball program definitely is in a great place, and that makes me proud,” King said. “I’m happy for the program and the school. There still are great coaches in the program and there will be a lot of upperclassmen leadership on the team this fall.”

The search for King’s replacement is well under way. Interviews will be taking place soon and WHS Activities Director Bill Deckelman said he hopes to have a recommendation for the new head coach to the Board of Education at their next meeting on June 29.

There will also be a new baseball and softball complex on the grounds of the former South Point Elementary, which is slated to open in the spring of 2023.

“Coach King has done a great job building a winning tradition in the Blue Jay Softball program,” Deckelman said. “He has captured several GAC championships, two Final Four appearances and one state championship. He leaves the program in a great position to continue this winning tradition.”

King has been preparing to be an administrator for several years. He earned a Master’s degree in education administration from William Woods University in 2006, after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary mathematics in 2004 from Central Missouri State University (currently University of Central Missouri). He attained an educational specialist degree from Lindenwood University in 2016. He’s a 2000 graduate of DeSmet High School.

King said he has short-term and long-term goals in mind for the Career Center, but will focus initially on learning, listening and building relationships.

“My main focus to start will be to meet with administration, meet with staff, get input from them, and implement my ideas. It’s also going to be important for me to meet with and get to know members of our community. Our community is so involved with the Career Center, which I’m thankful for, so it will be important to make those connections,” King said. “Ultimately, it’s about our students. They are the reason why there’s a Career Center. I want to help the Washington community grow with what we offer at the Career Center, and I want to help our students succeed as much as they can and help prepare them for their post-secondary careers.”

Philip and his wife, Kimberly, have two daughters. Keira, 11, is entering sixth grade at Clearview Elementary. Kailee, 8, is entering third grade at Clearview.

Philip King
Four Rivers Career Center Director Philip King