Ybarra’s communications director leaves SDE

A member of state superintendent Sherri Ybarra’s leadership team has left the State Department of Education for a job at another state agency.

Scott Phillips

Scott Phillips began work Monday as policy and communications chief at the Idaho Department of Lands. He had worked as Ybarra’s communications director, joining the SDE shortly after her 2018 re-election.

Phillips had also acted as Ybarra’s representative on the Idaho Land Board — a group of five statewide elected officials, which manages state endowment lands on behalf of public schools and other beneficiaries.

“While we will miss Scott at the Idaho State Department of Education, I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role,” Ybarra said in a news release. “His depth of experience with Land Board members and public schools will be an incredible asset to the Idaho Department of Lands.”

Phillips described the new job as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I grew up in Orofino and my family owned a logging company,” he said in a news release. “I have lived my life with a deep-rooted appreciation for Idaho’s natural resources and the important role logging plays in creating jobs, materials, along with helping schoolchildren.”

Phillips will make $91,340 a year at the Department of Lands, a slight increase from his  $89,320 SDE salary.

In a tweet last week, the SDE announced it is looking to hire a news communications director and press secretary, at a salary of up to $72,800.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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