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Simpson honored as Rainbow’s Staff Member of the Year

MADISON – One of the best aspects of Jessica Simpson’s job is spending years with students and watching them grow. At Rainbow Elementary School, Simpson is “Staff Member of the Year.”

She has worked in Rainbow’s physical education department for 15 years. “I’ve been with Madison City Schools 19 years. I started working with extended day at West Madison Elementary School,” Simpson said.

Then, Simpson worked as an aide for ESL (English as second language), the office and Katherine King’s second-grade classroom. She also worked as substitute teacher at Rainbow and pursued a PE aide position when the school opened.

A great influence during Simpson’s career was Mary Long, West Madison’s former principal. “She was my preacher’s wife and approached me at church and told me about the opening at West Madison. Because of my years of volunteering for Vacation Bible School and teaching mission friends, she thought I would be great.”

Mary Long “is the reason I started and found my passion. I’ve had so many great mentors over the years and have been blessed to work with so many wonderful teachers,” Simpson said.

After graduating from Sparkman High School, Simpson continued her education at Calhoun Community College. Simpson has lived in the same Madison County neighborhood for almost 30 years.

Simpson has volunteered with the multiple sclerosis walk in memory of her best friend’s mother. She also has worked with the RUFF (Ready Yourself for the Future) organization and yearbook committee at Rainbow.

“I have a 15-year-old son who attends Bob Jones High school,” Simpson said.  

Simpson enjoys watching her students in extracurricular activities. “I’ve always gone and watched my former students play football and cheer at Discovery. They’re always excited to see me,” Simpson said.

However, one year she didn’t attend those games because her son was playing fall baseball. “I always wondered if they really payed attention if I was there or not. That year, I went to another event at DMS and saw two students, Luke and John Michael, who said, ‘We didn’t see you at any of our games this year.'”

“From then on, I’ve tried to make it to different activities the students are in,” she said.

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