Principal's Welcome

Ronda Simmons"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." My name is Ronda Simmons, and it is with this Nelson Mandela quote in mind and focus that I proudly and humbly introduce myself to you as the newly appointed principal of Thomas E. Kerns Elementary School. The elementary school years are critical times in a child's development, and I have dedicated my career in education to ensure that our children are supported with love, taught with compassion and guided with determination. It is important for them to believe that all are worthy and able to succeed, and I look forward to working with our staff, parents and the community in a collaborative effort to equip them for success.

I obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from South Carolina State University and Master in Education and Education Specialist degrees from Cambridge College.  I began my career in education as a teacher, math coach and district instructional facilitator in Dorchester School District Four before moving on as a district institutional facilitator, curriculum specialist, and assistant principal for Calhoun County School District. More recently, I served in the capacity as a principal in Orangeburg School District Four. I approach this next chapter in the Upstate of South Carolina with enthusiasm as I bring nearly 29 years of experience, skill and leadership to Thomas E. Kerns Elementary.

I am blessed to be married to my Army Veteran husband, Douglas Simmons, who also serves as a pastor and chaplain. Together, we have two beautiful daughters, Taylor, who is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate, and Tyra, who is a junior at Winthrop University.

I am excited about the next school year, the challenges we will face and overcome together and the stories of triumph we will share. I will work hard to build partnerships between our students, staff, parents and the community to establish a legacy of success and a spirit of Excellency at Thomas E. Kerns.