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Simmerman named SPSD Teacher of the Year


Batesville Junior High School teacher Kim Simmerman (right) is congratulated by South Panola School District Superintendent Tim Wilder for being named SPSD Teacher of the Year. 


      Batesville Junior High School teacher Kim Simmerman puts others before herself – and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.


      Simmerman’s willingness to go “above and beyond” to help her students, colleagues and school led to her recently being named 2016-17 BJHS Teacher of the Year, and District Teacher of the Year.


      “It’s an honor,” Simmerman said on the award. “I just love being with the children, and more than anything, I want people to know that I thoroughly enjoy teaching and that I want the children in my classroom to do the very best that they can.


      “It’s like a dream come true. You’re being recognized for something you’re so passionate about and you realize that ‘Hey, maybe somebody else sees that.’”


      BJHS Principal Charles Stevenson certainly sees Simmerman’s efforts and gave praise for her willingness to stay late and help others.


      “She goes above and beyond to make sure that not only her students are successful, but also her colleagues,” Stevenson said. “She works late nights, she comes up here on the weekends, she is willing to work even when you don’t have other people here to stay. A lot of times she goes out of her way to ensure her students are successful. Monday through Friday she will give up her planning period just to work with students. Also, in the cafeteria, you always see her with either a student or a computer to make sure students reach their AR levels.”


      Simmerman is in her 28th year of teaching – all at BJHS. She credits two veteran teachers, Sandra Wilson and Ann Darby, in laying the foundation for helping her become the teacher she is today as she would observe their classrooms during her planning period to learn from them.

      “I just wanted to be a teacher like those two ladies,” Simmerman said. “I would take notes while visiting their classrooms and come back and try to implement what they did in my classroom.”


      Now, though, Simmerman is the one sharing the wisdom to new teachers.


      “That’s one thing I try to do is to be a mentor, “ Simmerman said. “I know what’s it’s like to be overwhelmed and just not know. When I’m able to help a new teacher I always try to.”


      Simmerman, a University of Mississippi graduate, was chosen as BJHS Teacher of the Year in 2001.


      She is originally from Crowder and went to high school in Quitman County. She is married to Barry Simmerman and the couple have two children – B.J, a senior at Mississippi State, and Jessica, a freshman at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Her parents are Lana and Murray Bridges.
      Other school Teachers of the Year include: Kelly Cosby (Batesville Elementary School), Mikki Hoff (Batesville Intermediate School), Kim Ward (Batesville Middle School), Rex Houston (South Panola High School) and Hillari Cobb (Pope School).