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JB Phillips

School Division Candidate

Teacher in Mesa County Valley School District 51


Education/Special Courses/Certifications

B.A., English Education and Mass Communications, Montana State University

M.Ed., Lesley University

Ed.D., University of Northern Colorado

Employment History

Serving in 28th year in Colorado schools. Fourteen years in secondary English, social studies, and variety of other elective and core courses; nine years in school administration; five years in secondary computer science.

Organizational Affiliations/Achievements

Grand Junction City Council Planning Commission

Mesa County Block Grant Committee

Middlebury College BLSE Fellow

UNC Outstanding ELPS Doctoral Student (2000)

Responses to Key Questions

Candidate responses were limited to 100-150 words; responses have not been edited by PERA.

Interest in Serving as a PERA Trustee

Please briefly describe why you are interested in being elected to the PERA Board of Trustees.

I am currently serving a single year term and would very much like to be elected back into the committee. The oversight provided by this committee is of great importance to PERA beneficiaries. Not only is it a great learning experience for me personally, the membership on this committee allows me to give back some time to the education field that I’ve benefited from for many years.

Challenges/Opportunities Facing PERA

Please describe what you consider as areas of challenge/opportunity facing PERA and the Board’s role in addressing these issues.

The continuing problems will center around demographic trends that are impacting the amount of active PERA members and the money going in and out of the fund. Housing costs, purchase, and rent prices are all up. Federal interest rates complicate matters. People and jobs are leaving the state at a rate that is not helpful to managing a secure fund. The greatest goal will be to maintain PERA back to being fully funded decades down the road. The short term need is to make sure active members and retired beneficiaries don’t bear the brunt of the current financial issues.

The Role of a Trustee

What do you see as the role of a Trustee on the PERA Board?

The role of the trustee is that of fiduciary that holds a legal and ethical relationship of trust with his or her constituents. The trustee attempts to ensure that prudent care of assets remains at the forefront of discussion. It is a trustee’s job to question the workings and people involved in maintaining the fund with an open mind and willingness to understand and learn.