Mr. Simms’s Dedication Goes Above and Beyond at Band Camp


Logan Compton, Reporter

Mr. Simms is a music teacher at Potosi High School. He is passionate and dedicated to music and his students. Every year, he organizes a band camp where students in the band program come together and learn the music for their marching show.

This past year, at the band camp, Mr. Simms noticed that all of his students were having a hard time keeping up with the pace he wanted to go. The whole band was struggling and feeling discouraged. 

Mr. Simms noticed the band kids’ frustration and tiredness, he looked around at all the band kids and had to understand what was happening. As he felt the heat beat down on him, he listened to the band make groans and complaints about the weather and how tired each and every member of the band was. In fact, Mr. Simms had felt the same way, with the sun constantly beating down on them for over four hours it would make sense. As the sun was setting and the band was losing more and more motivation, Mr. Simms made a deal with the whole band. He agreed to the most absurd thing for a teacher to do for his students… a cartwheel. Yes, I know this sounds out of place, but truly who wouldn’t want to see one of their teachers do a cartwheel? Though there was a catch to this deal, the whole band had to run the show 3 more times while making near-perfect run-throughs.

With the goal to see Mr. Simms do a “once in a lifetime” act, all the band students pushed themselves to their limit, even to the point where Mr. Simms said, “These have by far been some of the greatest run-throughs of the show you guys have done,” complementing each one of the students on their motivation and letting them go home earlier as a reward for their hard work.

Another instance Mr. Simms has gone above and beyond for the band students is by spending extra time with them during breaks and after hours to help each of them improve their skills. He even spent extra time with students that couldn’t grasp the different marching techniques and personally worked on extra marching exercises with them. He also encouraged the students to listen to recordings of the show to familiarize themselves with the music. 

One student in particular, Alexia Odle, was amazed by Mr. Simms’s dedication to helping her succeed and stay motivated during the marching band season. When I asked her what she thought of Mr. Simms she exclaimed, “Mr. Simms has inspired me to be my best and work hard for what I want to achieve. I’ve never met a teacher that understands more and helps me and many others keep their heads up!”. I also ask Alexia about Mr. Simms offering to do a cartwheel to motivate the band, and she replied, “That one night when we were all tired and didn’t want to do much of anything with the show Simms did a cartwheel for us and got the whole band rowdy and excited! All because of Simms’s ability to realize that we needed something to push us, we got to see a crazy act to really make that day special and memorable to everyone in the band.” At the end of the band camp, Mr. Simms was proud to see how much all of the students had improved. He congratulated each of the students on their hard work and dedication and encouraged them to keep practicing. Yet, Mr. Simms wasn’t the only person that was proud. 

I asked Alexia Odle what she thinks overall about Mr. Simms and she immediately said, “Mr. Simms has had a great impact on me and I really appreciate him for his dedication and hard work. He never lets us down and has always helped us out with any of our problems that he can. Mr. Simms not only goes above and beyond but is the person who I aspire to be like!”

Mr. Simms has been a huge inspiration to our school and students. He offers up his free time to help students in need, spends time working with students who need extra help, allows everyone to participate and feel like they are part of the group, and most notably, goes above and beyond to motivate and reward his students. His motivation and rewards have not only boosted students’ moods and overall success but have made students and people, such as Alexia Odle, aspire to act and be like him in their own lives. Mr. Simms has truly gone above and beyond for our school and students.