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Simmons’s Dual Role Proves Successful

Posted on July 1st, 2013

2013 EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD RECIPIENT, OLGA SIMMONS
New Hope Seventh-Day Adventist School | Southeastern Conference
Principal and Teacher

Olga Simmons_1The dual role of principal and teacher is challenging, at best, but Olga Simmons has proven to be successful at both at New Hope Seventh-day Adventist School.

Simmons quickly identified the multiple needs of the school such as no textbooks, broken stairways and very low student census and addressed them by visiting all Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Fort Lauderdale area to advertise for the school. She also made phone calls and personal visits to parents to help populate the school.

“Her love for Jesus is demonstrated in her relationship with the people with whom she interacts, whether they are adults or children,” says Thelma Mundy, teacher and colleague at New Hope.

One could observe her eating her lunch while assisting her students with concepts and skills. In addition, she volunteers her time before and after school to assist those who need help in reading and math.

Simmons is always engaging her students in one-to-one instruction to cater to their individual needs. The inclusion of art and music classes, which were not previously offered, was another initiative by Simmons, as she continues to implement new programs to advance student learning.

Currently, she is in the process of equipping the school with electronic devices such as smart boards and document cameras to enhance the student’s learning.

Olga Simmons_3

“She is an excellent teacher in the classroom, innovative, creative and caring teacher to all of her students at all times,” says Superintendent of Education for the Southeastern Conference Carol Byrd. “Her students are performing on and above grade level due to her hard work, and dedication as a teacher.”

The “School Bus” is the nickname for her vehicle. Simmons saw a need in some students and decided to act. With parental approval, she transports children to and from school, especially those who would experience difficulty in providing transportation.

“As a teacher, we are literally underpaid, however, when you are an Adventist teacher you can only testify of God’s goodness,” Simmons says. “I have learned to help parents from the meager salary to keep their child in school, get supplies, go on field and mission trips.”

Olga Simmons’s award ceremony was on Saturday, June 22, 2013, at Camp Hawthorne – Camp Meeting.

Alumni Awards Foundation board member, Thomas Werner, presented the award to Olga Simmons.

This award was sponsored by Oakwood UniversityAAF would like to thank Oakwood University for partnering in this year’s Excellence in Teaching Awards.

See where else this teacher has been published in local and district-wide media here

 

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