Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Sims

By: Nohemi Vallejo

Mrs. Sims is an amazing geography teacher with a strong passion for helping her students succeed. During these difficult times, Mrs. Sims is trying to perfect her art of teaching online like any other of our incredible teachers here at PHS. Mrs. Sims states, “I don’t think I have found the perfect way yet, but it hasn’t stopped me from trying different methods such as calling, texting, encouraging students through Google Classroom messages, and Zooming. Mr. Hurley and I stick with the lessons that have had the most engagement while still trying to break the monotony.”

Mrs. Sims has been in various positions inside and outside of the classroom for over 28 years in education. She loves working in education, but the highlight of her career was working at PHS. On the topic of PHS, her favorite thing is seeing and interacting with the students. Mrs. Sims was very surprised to learn she had been selected as Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Sims humbly states, “PHS has so many great teachers that it was an honor to be voted for this award by my peers.”

From an early age, Mrs. Sims knew she wanted to be a teacher. Someone who influenced her to become a teacher was her mom, Margaret Coleman. She was an educator at PISD. She got to see how rewarding it was for her mom, and she knew she also wanted to be a part of it.

Mrs. Sims will be retiring by the end of this year. She states, “I’m a proud PHS graduate and besides missing the students and my coworkers, I’ll also miss being in the buildings and classrooms where I attended high school. Most of all though, I’ll miss the opportunity to have a proper goodbye with my current and past students.” Mrs. Sims mentions, “My husband and I will be moving to eastern Tennessee at the end of June to see if we like it there. We also have travel plans which include going to Iceland. As a geographer, I hope to travel more and just enjoy life. I also plan to volunteer at the local library system wherever I end up living. Who knows? It could be right back in Pleasanton where it all started.”

Mental Health Awareness Month

By: Nohemi Vallejo

May is the month that gives mental health an opportunity to raise awareness. While most people live life day by day not thinking of how they sit with themselves emotionally or mentally. Mental health awareness isn’t just about illnesses, it’s also about how people take care of themselves.  Positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, cope with the stress of life, and work productively. Of course, some days get a little rough, but there are many different ways to try to maintain a positive mind. Connecting with others, getting physically active, helping others, getting enough sleep, developing coping skills, and getting professional help if you need it. According to Mental health first aid, in the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Five percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people. The most common mental illness is depression. Globally, depression impacts an estimated 300 million people. Some early warning signs of any illness can include:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

It’s perfectly normal to feel sadness or anger, but when it becomes too much to handle, it’s okay to seek help. There are many different programs to help you online or at local mental health organizations. Students, you can reach out to a teacher, counselor, or administrator, or even a friend or parent if you need to seek help for your mental health.