Retired Principal Continues to Serve Local School
Berry Simmons may have retired as principal, but he remains involved in education as president of the Mill Creek High School PTSA.
Former principal Berry Simmons retired from Gwinnett County Public Schools in January, but his dedication to our schools did not end there. When the position of Mill Creek High School PTSA President opened up, he saw it as golden opportunity to stay involved.
“I had time since I had retired and was looking at ways to get involved,” Simmons said. “A phone call from Dr. Markham made me aware of this opportunity.”
The Mill Creek High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) currently has almost 2,000 members, including students, parents, and families. This important organization provides support to the students and staff of Mill Creek High School. As the new PTSA president, Simmons has an important role.
“I feel it is a communications role,” Simmons said. “My job is to serve as a liaison between the community and the school. We have a great school and my goal is to do my best to enhance our programs for students, staff, and community.”
Simmons also has a few very specific goals he would like to accomplish in his first year as Mill Creek’s PTSA President.
“My goal is to increase our membership, to add a student to serve on our board, and to raise awareness within the community of our function,” he said.
Serving as PTSA president can be a very rewarding position. Simmons enjoys the opportunity to interact with the Mill Creek students and staff, as well as the community.
“I enjoy being able to share with other PTSAs the good things that are taking place at Mill Creek,” he said.
In addition, Simmons said he enjoys awarding student scholarships and providing extras for the MCHS staff.
While the position has positive aspects, there are also challenges to overcome. Simmons said it is difficult to maintain parental interest in the PTSA at the high school level.
“Many get involved with various booster clubs instead of PTA," he said.
Fundraising is also challenging.
"It is difficult since we do not hold any fundraisers," Simmons explained. "We rely strictly on donations and memberships.”
Simmons is not the only member of his family involved with the Gwinnett County Public School System. Almost every member of his family has a connection to our schools.
“I have four kids -- a daughter, who is 25 and getting married in November, a son who is 18 and just graduated from MCHS and is attending Georgia Gwinnett College, a daughter who is 14 and a ninth grader at MCHS on the flag corp, and a son who is 12 and attends Osborne Middle School," he said. Additionally, his wife is the gifted teacher at Mulberry Elementary.
For more information about the Mill Creek PTSA, visit the school website.
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