Sally Sibley, who has been president and CEO for 42 years, is retiring at the end of September. The Phillips board of trustees has named Nancy Mercer to take on that role, beginning Oct. 1.
Phillips Programs provides individualized attention and support to children with special needs and their families. Its services include special education, therapeutic foster care, home-based counseling support, and hands-on vocational training.
When Sibley’s tenure started, the program served four students in a church basement; it now serves more than 500 children in a variety of programs, including schools in Annandale and Laurel, Md.
The Phillips School in Annandale (on Braddock Road near Backlick) serves about 180 children ages 6-21 from throughout the Washington, D.C., region with learning, emotional, or intellectual disabilities; autism; or other health impairments.
Sibley spearheaded the establishment of a community network of associations that work together to advocate for the rights of children and their families. She credits Phillips’ success to the strong values that guide the organization. “We built a foundation with these values which helps us always keep the best interest of the child and family in mind,” she says.
In 2010 Phillips won the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.