River Oaks principal honored as Harrison County School District Administrator of the Year

River Oaks principal honored as Harrison County School District Administrator of the Year

Dr. Shelly Simmons has served her entire career in the same school district: six years as a teacher, two years as an assistant principal and nine years as an elementary school principal. She also currently teaches aspiring administrators online at William Carey University. As an educator, Dr. Simmons strives to be a guide, leading her students and teachers in a quest to obtain the key to success--an education. It is her passion to ensure that students utilize education to secure a bright future. To that end, she employs her knowledge and passion, igniting within her students and teachers a passion for learning that will endure a lifetime.

 

Realizing that the community in which a school is located is an integral part of the success of that school, Dr. Simmons has committed to involving them in every aspect of the educational environment. Community and business leaders are invited, annually, to read to students at her school. They are frequently invited into classrooms as guest speakers to share their knowledge and expertise with her students in an effort to promote college and career readiness and to decrease the dropout rate. She has also organized a communal meal and has taken her teachers into the community for a social gathering with community members. She established and sponsored chapters of both the National Elementary Honor Society and the National Junior Beta Club. Additionally, she has organized various community service projects. Her greatest career accomplishment, thus far, is that she was recently named a Distinguished Principal by the National Institute for School Leadership. This provides her the opportunity to mentor other principals. Since opening a new school, with the challenges of combining students from “C” and “D” schools; having the largest ELL population in the district; over 75% of her staff had less than three years’ experience; along with the change in state assessments, she has continued to maintain a "B" rating. It is Dr. Simmons’ desire to leave a legacy that other administrators, teachers, and students will remember: she was a dedicated individual with a true passion for teaching and learning for all.