When librarian K.C. Boyd came to Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago in 2010, it was ranked second to last among schools in Illinois. Since then, according to the Chicago Public School’s (CPS) 2013 Progress Report, the facility of about 600 students has made major gains. Phillips, located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, received a 2011 School Improvement Award from the Illinois State Board of Education and moved from a level three rating to a level one (“Excellent Standing”), while the class of 2014’s ACT scores jumped from 12.8 in 2011 to 15.2 in 2013.
Boyd has transformed the school’s reading culture and its use of social media. While she isn’t solely responsible for Phillips’s turnaround, she has clearly made an impact.