Born in Blue Earth, Minnesota, August 1965, Phillip Parrish has always displayed a work ethic that has caused others to stand up and take notice. Growing up, Phillip took on multiple jobs to help his family make ends meet through high school but that didn’t stop him from excelling in athletics, music, and becoming his class president. Phillip’s distinct voice earned him a music scholarship to Mankato University, now known as Minnesota State University, where he pursued his passion for teaching others.
In 1989, after 4 years of working numerous part time jobs to pay for books and other essentials, Phillip graduated with a degree in Education and embarked on a rewarding career in teaching in Minnesota’s Public School system, with a focus on math, music and civics. Ten years later, Phillip had joined the U.S. Navy Reserve as an Intelligence Specialist and re-embarked on his educational pursuits, earning his Masters of Science in Educational Leadership and a Specialist Degree in Educational Administration by 2002.
Soon after earning his advanced degrees, Phillip joined the staff at Gerard Academy and Treatment Center for girls and boys with emotional and behavioral disorders in Austin, Minnesota as its Principal. He distinguished himself over 6 years in numerous leadership roles, ranging from directly counseling students to administering the educational program for the 2-12 grades, with a focus on returning students to main stream academic standing. Throughout his tenure, Phillip provided financial guidance for the academy’s $1.7 million budget and a $1.3 million building project and consulted as a subject matter expert on numerous fronts with the Minnesota Department of Education.
Accustomed to wearing multiple hats in his working day, Phillip Parrish responded to the events of 9/11 by continuing his Reservist calling while at Gerard Academy, deploying and traveling to Europe to serve his country, using his intelligence background to help allied forces track some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists as a non-commissioned officer. After serving as an intelligence specialist with the U.S. Naval Reserve for 10 years, Phillip Parrish was offered and accepted a direct commission as an intelligence officer in 2007.
A cornerstone to Phillip’s life is a life of service. He has volunteered for countless church and community youth programs as a teacher, music leader, and mentor for more than 30 years.
Phillip is married to the former Victoria Tilson. Phillip cherishes every day being a husband and a father to their amazing children and grandfather to two beautiful granddaughters.
Gerard Academy Board of Excellence
High School graduate, earning a collegiate music scholarship
1989 Mankato State University (now MN State University), Bachelor of Science Degree in Education
1999 MN State University, Masters of Science in Educational Leadership
2002 MN State University, Specialist Degree in Educational Administration
1989 Minnesota Public School System (Instructing Math, music, ethics)
1999 US Navy Reserve – Intelligence Specialist
2002 Gerard Academy and Treatment Center (Administration, Financial Planning,
2007 US Navy – advanced to Intelligence Officer
2016 Lieutenant Commander commendation
As a decorated Commissioned Officer, Lieutenant Commander Phil Parrish has led with honor:
Deployed to Afganistan with NATO SOFC
Branch chief, department head, and joint operations officer for U.S. European Command JIOCEUR