Camille Phillips

News Producer and Weekend Newscaster

Camille Phillips began working for St. Louis Public Radio in July 2013 as the online producer for the talk shows. She grew up in southwest Missouri and has a Master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia.

Camille has also worked at public radio stations in Columbia, Mo. and Kansas City, Mo. As an intern for Harvest Public Media her work aired on KCUR, KBIA, NET Nebraska, Kansas Public Radio and Iowa Public Radio.

In her free time, Camille enjoys reading, dance, hiking and canoeing. She was drawn to journalism as a profession by a passion for hearing different perspectives and a desire to provide a platform for conversation.

Ways to Connect

St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Dec. 10 with results of Senate vote — With an hour to spare before a government shutdown, the U.S. Senate approved a stopgap spending bill late Friday that allows coal workers in southern Illinois to keep their health coverage until April. Coverage for about 16,000 employees of now-bankrupt coal companies was set to run out at the end of the year . Coal state Democrats held up a vote on the bill because they wanted a longer benefits extension .

University of Missouri system President Mike Middleton prepares to testify Wednesday before the Joint Committee on Education.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

With a new system president arriving in March and the diversity plan that was initiated days before his appointment in place, interim President Mike Middleton told the University of Missouri curators Friday the year since his appointment in the wake of protests at the Columbia campus had been productive. “If you think about where we were last December and where we are today, we have much to be proud of collectively,” said Middleton. He was appointed to take charge of the four-campus system last November after former president Tim Wolfe was criticized for how he handled racial issues on the Columbia campus .

An "out of order" sign hangs from the pipes of a water fountain at Patrick Henry Elementary School in St. Louis.
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Dec. 9, 2016 with the results of the most recent tests — St. Louis Public Schools officials are still working on replacing water pipes, fountains and sinks that tested positive for lead. Most of the nearly 90 sources have passed most-recent testing , but three fountains and nine sinks have been abandoned. Another eight fountains failed the most recent lead tests, and officials are waiting for results on four other fountains.

Kielah Harbert is studying business and African-American studies at Washington University. She co-wrote '#Admitted,' a college application guide for first generation students. She's standing outside Brookings Hall on December 2, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis native Kielah Harbert remembers how nervous she felt when she hit submit and sent out her college applications. “Everything was done and it was just a waiting game,” said Harbert, who will be the first in her family to graduate from college next year. “But when I sent it out I was confident that I would get in to a school that would be beneficial to my future. And so it wasn't ‘OK I have to get into this school.’ It was ‘This is what I been waiting for. This is it.’ ”

Shammara Smith's son Ahmon is a sophomore at Oakville High. Her daughter Ahmiya is in fifth grade at Blaze Elementary in the Mehlville school district.
Provided by Shammara Smith

With the Riverview Gardens School District regaining provisional accreditation in January, parents who transferred their children to other districts under the state’s student transfer law are considering their options. Even though the change means Riverview no longer has to pay for transfers, the district has made arrangements allowing all 436 transfer students to at least finish out the school year. But because Riverview will stop providing transportation in June, Shammara Smith doesn’t know if she’ll be able to keep her son, who’s a sophomore in high school, and her daughter, who’s in fifth grade, enrolled in Mehlville.

A needle exchange kit uploaded to Flickr in 2008.
Todd Huffman | Flickr

Needle exchange programs could become easier to operate in Missouri under a bill pre-filed for the state’s 2017 legislative session. The programs make sure intravenous drug users have access to clean needles to prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV.

Riverview Gardens Superintendent Scott Spurgeon (center) talks with state board member John Martin (left) and deputy education commissioner Ron Lankford at the state school board meeting in October 2015.
File photo |Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:30 p.m. with comments from superintendent — After almost a decade without accreditation from the state of Missouri, the Riverview Gardens School District in north St. Louis County will be reclassified as provisionally accredited effective Jan. 4. The state board of education voted Friday for the classification upgrade to take effect on the first day of Riverview Gardens’ second semester on the recommendation of the Missouri Department of Education. Riverview was last provisionally accredited in 2007.

St. Louis County Officer David Meyer tests pushing the Narcan nasal syringe hard enough to create mist instead of dribbling out.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis-based agencies coordinating Missouri’s federal grant to prevent opioid overdose deaths are training their first batch of first responders Monday afternoon. Officers and EMTs from the Warrenton and Wright City fire protection districts and the Eureka, St. Charles City, Marthasville and Columbia police departments will be taught how to administer the overdose antidote, naloxone, before collecting a supply of the life-saving drug to bring back to their jurisdictions.

St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams watches as early results come in showing strong support for Proposition 1.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

The superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools is recommending that at least two schools in north St. Louis close at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. After having meetings at 10 schools that have low enrollment and shaky academic performance, Kelvin Adams told the district’s appointed board Monday night that Cote Brilliante Elementary, 2616 Cora Ave., in the Ville neighborhood, and Langston Middle School, 5511 Wabada Ave., in the Wells Goodfellow neighborhood don’t have the area population and development they need to stay open.

File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 22 with comments from plaintiff Willis Johnson. — A federal judge has ordered the Ferguson-Florissant School District to vote for its board members using cumulative voting. Judge Rodney Sippel's order , filed Monday, closes a nearly 2 -year-old civil rights challenge to the way the district has run school board elections. Sippel ruled in August that the old method of selecting candidates in at-large elections violated the federal Voting Rights Act, and halted the April 2017 school board elections until a solution could be found.

Sam Johnson, left, assists a visitor at the food pantry he manages for St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Church, in north St. Louis.
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

With Thanksgiving approaching, food and generosity are on people’s minds. That can be both a blessing and a challenge for St. Louis area food pantries. Between the numerous food drives and the holiday spirit, the regions’ two main charitable food distribution centers receive a lot of donations in November and December.

Advocates say a heavy police presence in downtown parks, as shown in this June 28, 2016 photo, has driven some people experiencing homelessness into other St. Louis neighborhoods.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

An organization that goes into the streets to make sure people experiencing homelessness are warm and fed is concerned that the rights of the homeless are being violated in downtown St. Louis. St. Louis Winter Outreach believes people living in shelters and abandoned buildings have borne the brunt of an increased police focus on minor violations promised by the mayor in May after a violent carjacking .

Riverview Gardens Superintendent Scott Spurgeon discusses the district's progress at a state hearing May 5, 2016
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

More than 400 Riverview Gardens students enrolled in other area school districts under Missouri’s transfer law may be able to stay in their current schools until they reach a natural stopping point even if Riverview regains provisional accreditation in December. As long as Riverview Gardens remains unaccredited, it is required to pay the districts receiving its students tuition equal to the amount of money the receiving district spends per student — in some cases as much as $21,000. But if the state board of education upgrades Riverview’s accreditation status, as the district hopes, Riverview will no longer be legally obligated to pay.

Volunteers look for people experiencing homelessness at the Delmar Loop Metro stop in July 2016 during St. Louis County's summer point-in-time count.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s federal homeless count found a 12 percent drop in the number of people experiencing homelessness in Illinois and a 4 percent drop in Missouri compared to last year. Both states are on a five-year downward trend for homelessness, with Missouri’s count returning to pre-recession numbers. Illinois had one of the sharpest declines nationwide this year.

Ashley Mosely waves to the principal of Koch Elementary, thanking him for his hands-on approach at her sons' school during a public hearing on unaccredited Riverview Gardens Nov. 14, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

If the parents and staff of Riverview Gardens were making the decision, the school district would soon no longer be unaccredited. Parents, students, teachers and principals praised the district’s improvement by the dozens Monday night at a public hearing state officials held at Westview Middle School.

Normandy Superintendent Charles Pearson agreed to a list of principles to reduce suspensions on Saturday, May 23, 2015.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 14 9:45 a.m. with results of the assembly — By the 2018-2019 school year at least four school districts in the St. Louis area could have policies banning out of school suspensions for their youngest students. At a regional assembly on suspensions Sunday evening, the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District pledged to ban out of school suspensions for pre-K through 3rd grade next school year. Ladue and Normandy committed to doing the same the following year. St. Louis Public Schools enacted their own ban this school year.

New Life Evangelistic Center doesn't like to be held to a set capacity for shelter. Administrators say they don't want to turn anyone away.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis is ordering a downtown shelter to close its doors or finish applying for a new occupancy permit. New Life Evangelistic Center received a cease and desist notice from St. Louis Building Commissioner Frank Oswald on Wednesday. He told the shelter it has 30 days to get a new permit, vacate its building at 1411 Locust Street or file an appeal with the city’s Board of Building Appeals.

Kirkwood High School increased the number of students taking AP tests last school year by about 200, largely through encouraging more students of color to enroll.
File photo | Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Kirkwood School District is hoping to speed up plans for comprehensive staff diversity training in the wake of controversy over blackface at the high school last month. The district’s racial equity plan created last school year originally called for the training to take place during the 2017 - 2018 school year.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon talks to students at Moline elementary school in Riverview Gardens Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 7 at 3:55 with Nixon comments: No Missouri school districts scored in the unaccredited range on this year’s annual report cards, but that doesn’t mean that the state’s two unaccredited districts – Normandy and Riverview Gardens – are automatically headed for an upgrade. And among charters in St. Louis, one – Preclarus Mastery Academy – scored in the unaccredited range for the third straight year. Two others that scored in the same territory, with less than half of the possible points – Jamaa Learning Center and Better Learning Communities Academy – closed at the end of the last school year.

Voting stations at a polling place.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis area residents head to the polls Tuesday, some have potential obstacles to overcome — aside from long lines. For people experiencing homelessness, it can be difficult to register to vote. And according to disability advocacy group Paraquad, accessibility continues to be a problem at some polling places in the region.

A person filling in a standardized test bubble sheet with a pencil.
Flickr | Alberto G.

The Illinois State Board of Education has released its 2016 report cards analyzing how well the state’s public schools are educating its students. Results from the second year using the standardized test known as PARCC continue to paint a dismal picture: more than 60 percent of students failed to meet state benchmarks in math and English.

Long Acres Farm co-owner Debbie Schneider talks to long-time customer Susan Wells-Souza during the produce stand's last day at Delmar Loop, October 29, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

A produce stand that’s been a Delmar Loop institution for more than four decades is moving to a new location. After 43 years at an outdoor market in a parking lot just northwest of Fitz’s, Long Acres Farm is being forced to move because it can no longer afford the rent.

Children try out a stretch at the Pagedale Center  on May 20, 2016.
Criss Cross | Beyond Housing

A community development effort spearheaded by the local nonprofit Beyond Housing is being recognized as a national leader for supporting better health outcomes. The 24:1 initiative , a collaboration between the 24 north St. Louis County municipalities within the footprint of Normandy Schools , has been awarded the Culture of Health Prize by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation .

Keira Cromwell, 10, plays Chip in Variety Theatre's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The production aired October 21 - 23, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

A local children’s theater company that puts kids with special needs on stage alongside professional actors is performing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast this weekend at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis started the theater group eight years ago, after starting a children’s chorus in 2006.

Voting booths
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

The Ferguson-Florissant School District wants a federal judge to approve an election system he ruled unconstitutional in August because it diluted the power of black voters. Despite that ruling, Ferguson-Florissant attorney Cindy Ormsby said there’s still a possibility that the judge will decide the original at-large system is best.

Parent educator MacKenzie Grayson gets acquainted with a mother and her daughter who live in the Normandy School District. (Oct. 16, 2016)
Provided | Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is launching its national conference in St. Louis Monday with a forum on how to serve families who’ve experienced trauma. Parent educators who work in communities where families are more likely to be traumatized by violence or stressed by living paycheck to paycheck are spending the day sharing best practices they’ve learned in the field.

AFL-CIP Vice President Tefere Gebre speaks before a canvas against Missouri's photo voter ID amendment on Oct. 15, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

The national labor organization AFL-CIO is trying to take a more active role in issues affecting people of color, and has its eye on Missouri in particular this election. AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre is in St. Louis this weekend for the fifth time in a year to talk about race, politics and the photo voter ID amendment on Missouri’s November ballot.

Police officers from several St. Louis area departments salute Officer Blake Snyder's funeral procession as it arrives at St. Louis Family Church in Chesterfield on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Law enforcement officers from around the region and across the country, along with private citizens, paid their final respects to St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder Thursday as he was laid to rest. Snyder's funeral began with a procession of police cars escorting his body to St. Louis Family Church in Chesterfield, where they were greeted by flag-waving supporters and a salute from a line of uniformed officers, including members of the Missouri Highway Patrol and Creve Coeur Police Department.

An induction room at SSM Health's new WISH Center.
Provided | Sarah Savat, SSM Health

SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond Heights has a new facility dedicated to caring for pregnant women addicted to heroin and other opioids. The Women and Infants Substance Help, or WISH Center started two years ago as a half-day weekly clinic. But after referrals and word of mouth built up a three-week waiting list, SSM Health decided to expand.

A high school sign.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

When a black student tells a white principal in a predominantly white school that another student’s behavior is racist, how should the principal respond? That question came into focus at Kirkwood High School last week, when a white student left a chemistry class with charcoal covering his face. Principal Michael Havener said the student meant to mimic a beard. But because the student had smeared his entire face, it looked more blackface to Kirkwood freshman Kiden Smith and her friends.

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