Board to appoint John McPhillips as chief business and financial officer

At its meeting tonight, July 11, the Bethlehem Central Board of Education is expected to appoint John P. McPhillips, Jr. as the district’s next chief business and financial officer. McPhillips will succeed Judith Kehoe in the key leadership role. Kehoe announced she will retire in October after serving 15 years in the district.

McPhillips is a seasoned municipal finance professional who is currently the commissioner of finance for the county of Schenectady, where he oversees the development and management of the county’s $342.7 million operating budget and six-year capital plan.

“We are looking forward to welcoming John McPhillips to our district leadership team,” said Superintendent Jody Monroe. “Not only does he possess the financial and strategic planning expertise needed to be an effective school business official, but he also impressed our hiring committee with the kind of interpersonal skills that are equally important in the role he will be taking on.”

Superintendent Monroe said in addition to the annual budget and district capital projects, the chief business and financial officer oversees the operations of all non-instructional support services, including student transportation, facility management and food service. Maintaining effective labor-management relationships as well as bargaining unit negotiations are also responsibilities assigned to the position, she said.

McPhillips has more than two decades of experience in various senior management capacities in state and local government, including in Albany County and at the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Siena College and a master’s degree from American University in Washington, DC.

“I am eager to meet employees throughout the Bethlehem School District to better understand daily operations and learn about recent successes so that we can build on that momentum,” said McPhillips. “Ongoing conversations will help everyone to better appreciate the present and future challenges from both instructional and non-instructional perspectives.”

McPhillips said those challenges include continuing to provide the quality learning opportunities students deserve while keeping a close eye on warning signs in terms of economic slowdown and a potential recession.

“I am optimistic we can meet the expectations of parents and guardians and our real property taxpayers through creative problem solving and with the input and feedback of all stakeholders,” said McPhillips.  

A resident of Bethlehem for more than 20 years and the parent of a BCHS student, McPhillips says he is excited to apply his own experience and knowledge in a way that will benefit BC students and the community.

“There’s a sense of fulfillment when working on projects or solving problems that directly impact those you say hello to in the grocery store or meet at community events,” said McPhillips. 

McPhillips is active in the community as a member of the Elsmere Fire Company where he has been an interior firefighter for 14 years. He also works with the Elsmere Explorer Post 30 as an advisor for teens interested in joining the fire service or who may be looking to get more involved with their community.

A self-described “struggling bagpiper,” McPhillips enjoys performing with the City of Albany Pipe Band and is a hiking enthusiast and aspiring Adirondack 46er.

McPhillips’ official BC start date is October 11, 2022.