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Teacher Profile: Phil Simms

Phil Simms

Special Education Teacher
History, K-12 P.E.



There were three teachers that highly influenced my decision at age 17 to go into teaching. Mr. McGee my K-8 PE teacher, like Mr. Soroka and Mr. Lee below, were all WWII vets. After the war, each went back to school on the GI Bill. As teachers, they all kept a tight ship.

Mr. McGee had been in the Navy. He was strict but fair. He demanded positive effort from everyone whether it was calisthenics, running laps, playing a game or demonstrating a motor skill. Disrespect was not tolerated from any student. Most of all, he encouraged and awarded excellence. He developed a school-wide Field Day and kept meticulous records. Mr. McGee challenged every student to do his/her best. As I watched this summer’s 2016 Olympics I began thinking about the number of athletes who, like me, had a coach like Mr. McGee. In many ways Mr. McGee was like a father to me. Under his coaching in track and field I was awarded High Point Boy in 6th grade. That fact changed my life. Athletics have been a part of my life ever since. I still look forward fall football, March Madness Basketball, and baseball in the spring/summer. After college, I did my student teaching under Mr. McGee’s mentoring.

Mr. Soroka, my seventh grade health teacher, student government advisor and color guard sponsor, believed in me. He encouraged me to take pride in everything I did. Under his guidance, I began to overcome a fear I had playing my trumpet daily over the entire school intercom for the morning flag ceremony.

Mr. Lee was my 8th grade history teacher. Boy could he tell a story! Like Jules Verne’s Time Machine, he was able to transport his class from a building in central Phoenix, AZ to any place or time-period in world history. He had the ability to make history come to life.

As I look back on 39-years of teaching, each of these men heavily influenced how/what I teach because they developed in me a passion to learn and excel. They helped mold my life; and, in many respects, continue to have their imprint on me to this day. That’s the sort of teacher I want to be at Roadrunner as I continue to teach PE, US Government or Economics. I’ve never loved teaching more than I do now.

Visit my website for more about me.