Sims named Winters High School Educator of the Year

Winters High School students and staff recognize Counselor Jeff Sims as the 2019 Educator of the Year.
Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express Winters High School counselor Jeff Sims was named the 2019 Educator of the Year.

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Winters High School Counselor Jeff Sims said he’s always been a helper, thanks to being raised in a large family with a single mother at the helm. “Coming from a family of six you’re not allowed to not pitch in, and you help out. It’s something I’m passionate about. It’s something I love doing,” said Sims. He was raised in a home where helping out was “what you did,” and with many nieces and nephews he was always the uncle  out playing games and running around with them. Those who had an opportunity to see Sims in action in the Winters school district have observed it. This year Sims is being honored as the Educator of the Year by students and his colleagues. In her position of Workability Service Provider/Job Developer and a member of the special education team at WHS, Jenny Ramos said you’ll never see Jeff sitting still because he’s always doing something to assist students. Whether it’s facilitating tests, formulating potential paths to success or listening to students concerns; Sims is consistently taking action to help Winters youth to process and troubleshoot problems that arise and help them plan goals and solutions. “Jeff is a vital member of our education team. He helps all students in their areas of academic achievement, career and social/emotional development, ensuring that they become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow,” said Ramos. “His positive energy on campus is contagious and he is not one to just pass you in the hall without engaging or smiling and making each student feel just as important next. Working with him is a gift as he has the same passion as myself and that is to see our students transition from high school to successful adults.” Sims said he chose to work with youth as a school counselor (and previously a school psychologist) because it’s an area where he can make a difference. A highlight has been being able to see that difference unfold in front of him over the course of a student’s school career. With Winters being a small community, he has had the honor of developing substantial relationships with students and their families. “That’s what happens in a small community like this. You get to see them from, a lot of times, early grades to high school,” said Sims. “It’s like an extended family.” Sims said his superhero and inspiration behind working with youth is his mom. “I hear a lot of my mom in some of the things I say. She was a single mom raising six kids back in a time when I didn’t know anyone else in my school who was going through that,” Sims shared. “I draw a lot of inspiration from that and how she valued her kids and had high expectations for them. Some of that translates to when I work with kids and wanting them to achieve more than they think they can achieve.” He hopes the youth he works with realize that even though they are growing up in a small town they are capable of achieving anything they put their mind to. “Just because we come from a small town doesn’t mean that we have small opportunities,” Sims said. “Look at some of our students that have gone on to amazing schools and have gone on to do amazing things. Our kids have opportunities that they may not have in other places and they should take advantage of as many of them as they can.”]]>

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