Former NC schools leader dies

Posted April 12, 2011 1:05 p.m. EDT

— Craig Phillips, North Carolina's longest-serving education superintendent, died Tuesday morning in Wilmington, his family said. He was 88.

Phillips headed the state Department of Public Instruction from 1969 to 1988, overseeing the addition of kindergarten to public schools in North Carolina and the development of a statewide basic education plan. His tenure also was marked by the integration of racially segregated school districts.

Phillips had suffered from Parkinson's disease and had been in hospice care, according to his granddaughter, Stacey Webb.

A funeral is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 612 S. College Road in Wilmington. Visitation will be one hour before the service.