Simmons Era Begins at TISD

A new era began for Tyler schools Monday.  Dr. David Simmons began his first day as TISD's superintendent.

In the Robert E. Lee Cafeteria, Simmons started off his first speach as Superentindent thanking honored guests. "I hope I haven't missed any others. I don't want to get in trouble on my very first day on the job."

Fortunately, for Dr. David Simmons, he was talking to a sympathetic audience. In his first official function, Simmons spoke to more than 100 new Tyler teachers. And, he took the opportunity to inspire. "We need you. We need each and every one of you. And we need you to be ambassadors for our profession."

Like most in the audience, Lana Newton is a new teacher in TISD.  She says she finds comfort in having her starting year along with her new boss. "Anytime somebody's new, and I know it because I'm new myself, there's a lot of changes and a lot of things that stay the same, so, what was working, I'm sure that will stay the same, but, he'll just bring in new ideas, maybe ways we can do something different."

After lunch, more introductions.

"Hi, tell me your name again... Have we met?"

Simmons will soon have to find his way through school and city politics in order to best lead the district. But first he has to find his way through the halls and cubicals of the administration building.

"My goal today was to first of all, find the office. I've only been up here one time."

Eventually, Simmons knows he will have to do more than just shake hands. To make TISD better, he will have to win the community's faith.

"I believe there is a trust issue here. I believe people have to get a chance to know me. I have to get to know them. They have to learn what I'm all about. To a great extent, basically, I have to prove myself."

Simmons comes to Tyler from Texas City, where he was Superintendent for three years. He replaces Donald Gentry, who retired back in June.