Original article published in the Mower County Independent, Thursday, September 7, 2023. Reprinted with permission and gratitude.
Dana Simmons wanted to be knit, so she joined the Knights. “I came to Kingsland because I missed being part of a smaller school in a close-knit community. I am from a small town, so Kingsland feels like home to me,” stated Simmons, Kingsland’s new 5-12 principal, sharing why she chose to become part of the Kingsland staff as an administrator.
Simmons is a transplant from up north who determined that teaching anywhere was in her personal yarn strand. “I graduated from East Central High School in Finlayson, Minnesota, in 1998, and I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2004, my master’s from East Tennessee State University in 2018, and my specialist degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead in 2023. This is my 19th year in education, and I was an English teacher for many years prior to becoming an administrator. Prior to Kingsland, I was in Red Wing and then Tennessee before that. When I was a teacher, I taught English language arts because I love reading and writing myself, but I found it thrilling to help my students find a book that they thoroughly enjoyed or helped them learn how to express their thoughts on paper. I then went into administration because I wanted to help teachers be successful in the classroom and work to create welcoming school communities where students thrive.”
She stated, “While all subjects are important for students to learn, I believe that learning how to communicate effectively, work hard, and have integrity are some of the most important things that we can teach young people. The main challenge with any new position is that of change. Change is hard for everyone, whether it is a new rule or policy or a new person in the office.”
She remarked that she’s going to do her best to become part of the district’s fabric as she adjusts to being the new person in the office. “As the new principal, I am excited to get to know families throughout Kingsland. Since I am going to be working with fifth through twelfth grades, I will have the opportunity to meet and build relationships with many new faces. I am most excited to be part of Kingsland’s staff because I thoroughly enjoy getting to know new people and building relationships. People here have been amazing!”
Simmons lives in Stewartville with her family. “I live in Stewartville with my husband, who teaches at Stewartville High School, my seventh-grade son Dexter, my sixth-grade daughter Gabriella, and my kindergarten daughter Isabella. During my spare time, I attend my kids’ sporting events, cook, garden, and spend time with family.
Courtesy of the Mower County Independent, 135 E Main St. LeRoy, MN 55951, (507)-324-5325