A Pennsylvanian, Phillips earned her B.S. degree from Shippensburg University and then traveled westward. With an elementary certificate from Grand Canyon College in Arizona and a Master's degree from Northern Arizona University, Phillips taught junior high and high school classes. There she found that students had a difficult time learning concepts of grammar in the English language. Presenting a process that builds knowledge through review and consistent proper usage, Phillips helped her students improve their understanding of English and thus had better writing skills. Phillips has since continued her own education, receiving a doctorate from George Fox University in Oregon. With the success of her grammar books, Phillips has helped teachers and parents by giving seminars, lecturing, and providing workshops all over the United States.