Journal News 1/7/16: Patricia Simmons Lifted Her School, Staff & Students

Simmons lifted her school, her staff, her children

Scholarship, kindness and optimism fill East Ramapo’s Fleetwood Elementary, a legacy to the school’s longtime principal

The troubles of East Ramapo — the community tensions, the growing needs among public-school students, the budget cuts and concomitant dwindling education quality — are well-documented.

Yet children in East Ramapo keep rising. That’s because of people like Patricia Simmons, former principal of Fleetwood Elementary. No matter the hurdles her school and her students faced, she wouldn’t give up, wouldn’t let staff give up and certainly wouldn’t let children give up.

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