Our Directors

Our Directors

Shannon Harty Phillips


Shannon Phillips was named Highland Park High School’s Belles Director May 5, 2011.

Mrs. Phillips brings nine years of experience as a high school dance and drill team director to Highland Park ISD. She comes to HPISD from Richardson ISD, where she served as director of the Desperados Country & Western Performance team at Richardson High School and as director of the Highlandette drill team at Lake Highlands High School. She also directed the Hyline dance team at Westlake High School in Eanes ISD. As a college student, she was captain and freshman sergeant of the legendary Kilgore College Rangerettes.

“Shannon has a history of excellence in leading dance and drill teams, beginning with her days a Rangerette and extending through her experience as the director of some of the top high school programs in Texas,” HPHS Principal Walter Kelly said. “She has consistently demonstrated the ability to combine the traditions of an existing program with the key elements of unity and teamwork among the ranks.”

Mrs. Phillips is also a staff member at Encore Creative Productions, where she worked annually on the Choreography & Pageantry Teams for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic pregame and halftime performances. Over the years, she has supervised and assisted in the performances of thousands of young dancers in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York. Her high school dancers have appeared in the St. Patrick’s Parade in Dublin, Ireland, aboard the USS Missouri in Honolulu, and most recently, at Super Bowl XLV in Cowboys Stadium.

“I look forward to actively participating in the environment of excellence that is synonymous with HPISD,” Mrs. Phillips said. “It is with great respect that I join the Highland Belles organization and the strong legacy of women who have come before me. I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to develop a relationship with each of the talented young ladies in the program.”

She earned her associate’s degree from Kilgore College and her bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University.

Emily Ferris Sanchez


Emily started dancing at the age of four and has extensive training in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, and Hip Hop. She spent her childhood years studying at Dian Clough West Dance Studio and The Gayle Corkery School of Ballet.

After graduating from Fort Worth Country Day in 1999, Emily furthered her dance education at Stephen F. Austin State University. She was a member of the Stephen F. Austin Repertory Dance Company for two years before transferring to Texas State University in San Marcos. In San Marcos, she was a member of the Orchesis Modern Dance Company for three years and served as Vice-President of the organization in 2004. Emily graduated magna cum laude from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Dance with Secondary Teaching Certification and a minor in Psychology. Since graduating, she also obtained All-level Certification in Physical Education.

From 2006-2009, Emily worked at L.C. Anderson High School in Austin as a dance teacher and Assistant Director of the award-winning Trojan Belle Dance Team. During her direction, the Trojan Belles received numerous awards such as “Best in Contest” and “Best in Class State Champions” in both team and officer divisions. Her choreography in the modern category won first place at the Westwood Dance Classic and the American Lone Star State Championship. In 2009, Emily was recognized by her colleagues as Anderson’s Fine Arts Teacher of the Year.

Emily is currently in her fourth year of teaching at Highland Park High School. In April 2011, she married her husband, Charlie, and has two wonderful step-sons, Ethan and Gavin.