Paula Simmons has been a music educator in Elwood, Indiana since 1975 following her graduation from Ball State University.
She actually began with the music program in 1966 when, as a freshman, she began playing flute with The Mighty Marching Panther Band under the direction of Clifford Brugger and Rex Jenkins.
In 1977, I began 7th grade band with Miss Simmons. She and Mother were to become dear friends and that eventually extended to Paula’s parents, Mollie and Paul, and her younger sister, Melanie. The Simmons family was wonderful to Mother and us kids and I am still so grateful to them.
Paula’s teaching and encouragement kept me on the path to teaching. In fact, my last two years of high school, for three hours every morning, I assisted Paula in teaching the 6th grade band program. I cannot express how much I learned from her, and the students, in how to teach beginning instrumental or music students.
I am guessing this is the start of Paula’s 46th year of teaching and it is due to her that the music program has continued with some of the economic hardships that have often drenched our community and the school corporation.
Here are some photos taken of Paula Simmons as she escorted The Panther Band in the annual Glass Festival Parade, sponsored by The Rice Family and The Tin Plate, one of the finest eateries in central Indiana.