Rita Simmons is a gifted and talented teacher of students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Cleveland Avenue Elementary School. Simmons received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Florida A & M State University. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in instructional technology from Georgia Southern University.
Simmons’ career in education began in Chicago at Westside Preparatory School. After relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, Simmons decided to continue her love for teaching by starting a consulting business specializing in school-reform-model professional development for teachers. She has taught in Cobb County as a fifth-grade teacher and transitioned in 2005 as a language arts and social studies teacher at World Changers Academy. An advocate for children, Simmons is also the founder and CEO of a mentoring organization for girls. She is a passionate educator and visionary, and is committed to making a difference beyond the walls of her classroom. Simmons believes that teachers embody the very essence of what it means to educate children.
Finalists for this year’s award included Nathaniel Snyder, Middle School Teacher of the Year from KIPP Ways Academy and Danielle Gilley Costarides, High School Teacher of the Year from North Atlanta High School.