Retired D.C. Public Schools Principal Learie Phillip has been fighting back against Parkinson’s since he was diagnosed more than ten years ago. He regularly a PFNCA Exercise for Parkinson’s program near his home. “The program focuses on the total body and mind. The intensity level of the instructor is remarkable,” he says. Phillip, who is originally from Trinidad & Tobago, has some advice for those recently diagnosed or who are just now starting to address their situation. “Life does not end with the diagnosis,” he proclaims. “Activity and support are paramount.”
Learie recently answered some questions for PFNCA CEO Jared Cohen:
Cohen: Where are you from?
Phillip: I was born and raised in the Caribbean, in Trinidad & Tobago.
Cohen: Tell me about yourself.
I attended Trinity College, an all boys high school where academic excellence was all that mattered. After Trinity I worked with the mayor of Port of Spain, Mayor Hamilton Holder on an educational enterprise…In 1970 I emigrated to the U.S. and attended Rhodes High in Manhattan, New York to complete my High school experience. Since I knew that education was my calling I left N.Y. moved to Washington D.C. and enrolled at the District of Columbia Teacher’s College where I earned a Bachelor’s degree. Later I earned a Master’s in Education from George Mason University.
I joined the District of Columbia Public schools as a teacher in 1981, worked for a private group and returned to DCPS in 1990 as an Assistant Principal. In 1995 after a rigorous interview I was selected as the Principal of Theodore Roosevelt sr. high school where I served until Parkinson took over in 2005 when I retired.
Cohen: When were you diagnosed with Parkinson’s
Cohen: Learie, thanks for telling us more about yourself.