Simmons selected as Rainbow’s ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – Rainbow Elementary School has named Darlene Simmons as 2018 “Teacher of the Year.”

“I’ve been honored to teach at Rainbow with all the great teachers, staff and administrators,” Simmons said. “I look forward to each school year being blessed with my students that will touch and change my life each day.” 

Even before the school year ends, Simmons start rethinking and planning for improvement for the upcoming term. “I truly do love teaching and learning from each individual. I strive to be a better teacher from my friends at school and my students,” she said.

In 2005, Simmons graduated with honors from Athens State University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She has worked at Rainbow since 2005, with kindergartners for five-plus years and third-graders for six years.

“Although I live in Harvest, I always heard about Madison’s school system and wanted to work here,” she said. She serves with Rainbow’s volunteer and ES2S committees.

“My teaching philosophy is to guide students to do their best at making good choices, learn from mistakes and be prepared at what they do and will do,” Simmons said.

Her advice to students: “If you feel good knowing you did your best on anything (even a test), feel proud. If you didn’t do well and the outcome wasn’t what you hoped for, rethink on how you prepared or what you did.”

Students call her ‘stern’ and Simmons agrees. “I expect a lot of each one. I set high standards in their learning and behavior while telling them that’s what each should always do for themselves,” she said.

For fun while learning, Simmons’ class paints scenery for inspiration to write. For research the “old-fashioned way,” they use encyclopedias, resource books and non-fiction books to create maps or a diorama.

Peggy Good, who is Simmons’ special friend, colleague and daughter’s teacher, gave Simmons a motivational photo that states, “Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused.”

Darlene’s husband Bryan works as a safety engineer for NASA. “We have two daughters and one grandson. Amy and Aidan live in Huntsville. Anna lives in Harvest,” Darlene said.

She enjoys watching movies, playing board games and being a grandmother. Darlene and Bryan recently started kayaking.

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