Title: Elementary Education Educator, Reading Specialist (Ret.)
Company: Arlington Public Schools
Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States
Frances (Fran) Bell Simms, Elementary Education Educator and Retired Reading Specialist at Arlington Public Schools, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in language arts and reading.
Ms. Simms became involved in her profession when she got a call to become a teacher at a private school with a reading clinic in Florida. She wanted to think about it for 24 hours and in the meantime got some books to read and help her create her introduction. She accepted the job and that is how her teaching career began. Ms. Simms would then go back to graduate school in order to become certified. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Carolina in 1958. From there, she received a Master of Education from the University of Florida in 1962. She continued with her education taking postgraduate coursework at Boston University in 1963, the University of Virginia and Queen’s College in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Ms. Simms career highlight that stood out the most is being named Reading Teacher of the Year for the greater Washington Reading Council. Another highlight happened while George H.W. Bush was President. Barcroft was selected as the 400th Point of Light. Marines of Edinson Hall came every Tuesday and served as buddies for the kids in school. When Operation Desert Storm led to some of the buddies or marines to be sent off, the President chose the school she was working at. During that time, teachers including Ms. Simms had to keep the kids in place for the length of time they had to wait. She had to control the kids with all the media cameras, metal detectors, superintendents, and other officials in place. In order for this, she did trials for the big bad wolf to keep the kids quiet. Ms. Simms began her career as a playroom attendant for the Department of Neurology at the Children’s Hospital in Boston in 1958. Two years later, she became a reading clinician at the Mills Center, Inc. until 1961. From there, she joined the Arlington Public Schools in 1962 as a reading and language arts teacher until her retirement in 1999. After retirement, she became an adult education watercolor teacher. As a testament to her success, Ms. Simms received the Margaret McNamara Award from Reading is Fundamental Northern Virginia in 1994 and 1995. She is also listed in numerous editions of Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the world, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who in America.
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