Philip Riley came to Xavier in the summer of 2020 as the seventh president of the Xavier Catholic School System. Phil and his family made the move to Appleton following a 28-year career as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.
Riley, a native Nebraskan, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History with a minor in Military Science from Benedictine College, in Atchison, Kansas. As an ROTC scholarship recipient, Riley was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army, Air Defense Artillery. He served four years of active duty including deployment to Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. He began his career as an educator in 1992 and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University, Commerce, Texas.
During his 20 years as a principal Riley led three schools, James L. Collins Catholic School in Corsicana Texas, St. Joseph Catholic School in Richardson, and most recently St. Monica Catholic School in Dallas. Riley was also elected president of the Diocese of Dallas Elementary Principals Association and served in this capacity for six years. While at St. Monica, Riley was recognized for his work in academic technology programming, development of new facilities and growth of financial resources and was named as the recipient of the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Principal Award in 2018. In 2019 he was selected as the representative from Texas to receive the National Association of Elementary Schools Principals, National Distinguished Principal award.
Phil came to Appleton with his wife Terri, a native Texan, also a veteran educator with 29 years of teaching service in the Catholic schools in Dallas. Terri was a middle school math teacher for the majority of her career and a leader in developing mathematics curriculum and instruction for the Diocese. She also served as the Math Department Chairperson at St. Thomas Aquinas School for 10 years
The Riley’s have two sons, Ben, 23 and Will, 21. Ben is a 2019 graduate of Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. As an Army ROTC scholarship recipient, Ben received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Chemical Corps Officer and successfully completed the US Army Ranger School. He is currently serving with the 2nd Armored Division and is deployed to Camp Hovey, South Korea. Will, is a 2021 graduate of Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a BA in Marketing and Communications and works with the Multiview Corporation in Irving, Texas. The Riley’s family is completed by their Dachshund, Jerry, who adopted the family from a Texas rescue center in 2018. Phil, Terri and Jerry love their new Xavier Family and are enjoying the transition to beautiful northeast Wisconsin. And yes, while still rooting for the Dallas Cowboys, they have become avid Packer fans as well!