Sherry E. Philips is recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a Pinnacle Professional as a result of 35 Years of Excellence as an Educator. Sherry is the Owner, Director, and Instructor of Miss Sherry’s Studies and Enrichment.
In her current position, Sherry provides Private Instruction, Enrichment, Tutoring, Home Schooling, Distance Learning, and Special Needs Instruction. As a certified teacher, she excels in teaching all basic subjects including art and writing, as well as ACT, SAT, GED, and GRE Prep. Her classroom has a full library of resources, hundreds of books, grade-level textbooks, novels read by most of the local districts, reference sets, and books of various interests. The students have access to a computer with supervised use of the internet for research and a number of students email papers being worked on so that she can help make suggestions and possible editing corrections. Other students who have gone away to college usually fax papers or math problems that they need help with. Instructors have even permitted Sherry to administer tests aloud for students with certain learning difficulties and then return it to their offices. She has also assisted districts with students who have missed instruction due to pregnancy or long-term illness. As a result of her impeccable reputation as an educator, Sherry has had students come from as far a distance as Kentucky and Florida to study with her, ranging from the ages of three to seventy-two. Her students often drive more than an hour to come for a session or come home from college on a weekend to get extra help. Most of the children she works with come from the school districts within a twenty-five mile radius. With all of these students to teach, Sherry’s day usually begins at 8 AM and ends at 11 PM, six days a week. Her sixty hour work weeks are a true testament to the way in which she has always been dedicated to her students.
Miss Sherry’s Studies and Enrichment is based out of a historic home, circa 1903. The woman who built the home could not have children, and Sherry truly believes she was meant to live in the home so that hundreds of children could enter its doors, study, learn within its walls, let their laughter fill its air, and run free and safe in its yard. Several students have believed that if they touch the water flowing from the lion fountain at the backdoor, they will learn quicker. Others think the old kitchen table has special magic that makes them smarter. Some have imagined that the cats teach them math and whisper answers. Sherry’s students enjoy the swings and gazebos full of roses and lilies, picking strawberries, figs, and peaches, and having ice cream floats on the back porch while they study.
In the cooler months, it is not uncommon to find her students wrapped in blankets sitting crossed-leg in front of the wood heater in the classroom as he or she does math or reads.
Sherry attributes her early passion for teaching to a vision she had when she was about five years old.
In this dream-like vision, she saw herself as an old Native American woman with silver braids and many wrinkles sitting before a circle of small children.
She was teaching them about life as she told stories handed down by the ancient ones and about what she had learned throughout the changing times of her life.
Silence filled the air around the group as if they sat on holy ground. The children’s eyes drew her into their hearts where she wished to stay forever. That childhood vision has remained with Sherry for more than fifty years and has served as the basis for her career in education.
Growing up in the baby boomer generation, Sherry persevered through hard times as a child but considers the experience a blessing because she learned to use her imagination and to read at the age of five. As a young child, she would teach her cats and dolls as if they were her students, and she often served as the classroom helper in school, bringing papers home to grade for her teachers. These experiences helped Sherry to value education and to want to motivate her students to perform and succeed.
As a Student Teacher, Sherry found her first experiences in the classroom very thrilling. She would always arrive early and even the most experienced teachers would come to watch her teach. From that early stage of her career, she considered her students as family.
They would knock or just walk in and give her a big greeting along with small tokens of their affection.
Prior to establishing Miss Sherry’s Studies and Enrichment, Sherry served as the English and Art Department Head for the Wylie Independent School District in Texas. In this role, she directed the English and Art Departments and created the Art Department Curriculum. Sherry also developed a crafts class for the local nursing home, taught adult education in the evenings, and created curriculum, design, and decorations for a childcare center.
Sherry believes that although her credentials and experience may look impressive to some, they are only valuable if and when that knowledge is shared in a truly caring manner with honest commitment.
She continues to be indebted to all those who have shared their lives and learning with her and truly understands that her students teach her as much as she teaches them. Her greatest rewards in life have come from the students in her classroom. Although she admits that “Outstanding Secondary Educator of
America,” “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers,” “Female Professional of the Year,” and top awards in academics are great, her true prize is watching students succeed. Some of the most rewarding
experiences she has had with children include being a part of the metamorphic cycle of a child stricken by a stroke in infancy who struggled to say his first sentence and then went on to sing songs. In addition, she has been honored time and time again by watching a student who reads his first page, learns
his multiplication facts, writes his first essay, completes his advanced calculus homework, understands the chemical equation for photosynthesis, truly enjoys Shakespeare or Homer, sees the parallelism of Beowulf and the life of Christ, prepares his first speech to represent the student body, plays solo clarinet at the school’s homecoming, or graduates high school when the odds were stacked against him.
As a life-long educator, Sherry understands that learning is never finished.
Her students continue to broaden her mind and challenge her to create engaging and meaningful lessons as a response to their individual interests and needs. She often finds that her curriculum is guided as a result of questions posed by students, and she is always looking for new ways of presenting information, differentiating instruction, and gaining more knowledge in specific areas.
Throughout her career, Sherry has always maintained that students should be exposed to the highest quality education, complete with the optimal conditions for learning. She sees her purpose as working with students to build on what abilities are already in place and then expanding their talents to maximum performance.
She states that, “this is not on the level of making the ‘A’ or ‘B’ honor roll; instead, it is the honesty of doing one’s best and giving oneself the ‘A’ or ‘B’ for effort.”
Sherry consistently provides her students with the encouragement needed to set goals, and helps students work on breaking down the barriers to achievement by teaching time management, organizational skills, and study habits.
During the course of her own education, Sherry graduated summa cum laude from East Texas University, now Texas A&M University at Commerce, with an all-level teaching certification and a Degree in English and Art. She was an honor student and member of Alpha Lambda Delta. She currently holds membership in the American Association of University Women, the National Association for Female Executives, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She is an active supporter of The Humane Society of the United States.
As a result of her dedication to both the world of education and her students, Sherry has often been recognized as a “renaissance woman.”
Looking to share many of her talents and insights, she is now hoping to publish and illustrate her writing. Her writing portfolio includes fictional history, poetry, short stories, free verse and novels with topics ranging from the paranormal and spiritual to self-realization and children’s books. Sherry also hopes to use her expertise to inspire a new generation of educators to teach with the same amount of passion and devotion.
Her advice for future teachers is as follows...
“I would advise anyone — whether in the classroom or not — that teaching in any capacity should be a heartfelt calling. You should have the desire to not only transfer knowledge but to share your thoughts and life experiences. Students will respond to this and take more responsibility for their education. Teaching is a rewarding profession. Above all, you must be genuine in your love for learning and for those you teach.”