Phil Gonring Principal
Phil Gonring is one of the nation's leading experts on teacher compensation reform and educator effectiveness. Throughout his career as a teacher, principal, grant maker and author he has worked closely with lawmakers, education officials, higher education leaders and teachers unions to implement critical reforms improve conditions for teaching and learning.
Prior to joining Education First Phil was a senior program officer at Denver's Rose Community Foundation, where he directed the Foundation's grantmaking and programs in education. While in this role Phil led efforts by the Denver Public Schools and Jefferson County School District to transform their teacher-compensation systems, and authored a book on teacher pay, Pay-for-performance Teacher Compensation: An Inside View of Denver's Procomp Plan. With partners in the nonprofit community and the Colorado Department of Education, Phil also co-led a large initiative to develop statewide non-profit and government capacity to implement a statewide system of educator effectiveness. With the Center for Teaching Quality, he helped to develop the New Millennial Teacher Network, a national teacher voice initiative to help teachers play a meaningful role in education policy debates.
Phil began his career as an English teacher at George Washington High School, where he spent six years in the International Baccalaureate and traditional programs. He then spent three years as the founding lead teacher (co-principal) of the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, a K-12 public school of choice, and one of the nation's first New American School Development Corporation schools. In 2008, Phil was honored by Denver's Public Education and Business Coalition as one of Colorado's "25 Greatest Champions of Education" over the past quarter century. He is also the past President and Co-Chair of the Board of Grantmakers for Education.
Phil holds a baccalaureate degree in English and a diploma in education from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where his son is currently a freshman in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Phil lives in Denver with his wife and daughter.