Simpson high school grad returns as principal 30 years later

SIMPSON, La. (KALB) - Three decades after graduating from Simpson High School, Ramona Bennett now walks the same halls as the school's new principal.

This school year will be all about 'working with purpose,' says new Simpson principal Ramona Bennett. (KALB)

Principal Bennett said she greeted students on the first day of school Thursday morning with a full heart. "(It gives me) pride to come back home, and pride to see students that I have taught. I'm going to be working with their children as well and even some grandchildren."

A 1988 SHS graduate, Bennett has been an educator for 28--first as a 3rd-grade teacher at Simpson before moving on to East Leesville Elementary. She joined the Bronco team this summer on July 3rd. Her first order of business was getting with faculty to improve their Positive Behavior Support System plan and better prepare students for their futures. The school summarizes it with the acronym 'PRIDE,' or Positive and Prepared, Respectful, Individually Responsible, Dedicated and Expecting Success.

"To make sure that they're ready for the workforce and ready for college and to make sure they're lifelong learners," Bennett explained. "I want them to have that yearning to read and learn. I want them to learn to succeed. I'm going to work very hard and give everyone my best and I expect my students and my faculty to do the same."

Bennett said her vision is to make students proud to be Simpson Broncos.

"When you see those sparks of learning, it makes it all worthwhile. Or when a student comes back and tells you years later, 'thank you, you made a difference,' it really touches your heart and makes it all worthwhile even more," she said.

Bennett is also a big advocate of reading and told some 5th graders Thursday morning that throughout the year she might ask them to tell her about what books they're reading. The new principal also hopes to push their Jumpstart, Dual-enrollment and Associate's Degree programs during her tenure.

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