This is part of an ongoing series of interviews with the 2020 Prince George’s County Board of Education candidates. Dr. Alethia J. Simmons is a candidate from District 4 (see district map here) running in the June 2 primary election. Dr. Branch answered questions generated by members of Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools.
Prince George’s County Advocates for Better Schools does not endorse or oppose any candidate for the Board of Education.
Tell us about your background and your plans to move our school system forward. Why do you want to be on the Board of Education?
I want to be a voice that articulates the Heart of students, teachers, staff and parents. My education and professional background of 40+ years as a public school student, educator, administrator, nonprofit organization founder/CEO, community leader, author, tv host, ordained minister, mother of a District 4 High School graduate and presently a grandmother of a PGCPS middle school student, I know firsthand the cry from those who are often overlooked in our busy quest to provide academic excellence. Hence, I am humbled by these experiences and look forward to the opportunity to dedicate myself to connecting the pieces that will strengthen Prince George’s County Public Schools.
- DC Teachers College, Washington, DC, BS degree, Elementary Education
- Trinity College, Washington, DC, MS degree, Guidance and Counseling
- Maple Spring Seminary, Capitol Hgts, MD, MS degree, Biblical Studies
- Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, DMin degree, Theology
- Classroom Teacher, DC Public Schools
- Educational Counselor and Program Coordinator, EOC, Washington, DC
- Teacher, Counselor, Principal, Training Development Specialist, Special Assistant, Administrator of Higher Education and Educational Services, DC Dept of Corrections
- Substitute Teacher, PGCPS
- CEO, 7 Keys to a Mother’s Heart Ministry, Wash, DC and MD, non profit organization
- Associate Minister, TNMBC, Washington, DC
What do you believe are the most important characteristics of an effective school board?
- An effective school board establishes a clear vision, mission, defined goals, core values and a strategic organization plan for moving forward,
- Operates as a team that is goal oriented, committed, flexible, dependable, helpful, supportive, willing to generate ideas/solutions, trustworthy and respectful of one another,
- Develops program objectives and educational policies that will facilitate continuous. student achievement and classroom instructional excellence.
- Maintains open channels of communication that engages relationships with staff, parents, students and community partners.