Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Karen Bryant Simmons

Karen Bryant Simmons is an experienced educator with a diverse background in K-12 education. Over the past twenty-four years, Simmons has worked as a trailblazer in public education developing and expanding programs for students and leaders in both legacy Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools. Karen served as a classroom teacher for 11+ years, eventually moving up through the ranks serving as district professional development coordinator, curriculum advisor, and as an assistant principal. Having expertise at both the elementary and secondary levels, she has a proven track record for successfully managing school operations and student academic achievement. Karen has been afforded several leadership opportunities to include the Urban Education Center-Executive Leadership Program, Harvard University GSE New and Aspiring Leaders Program, Learning Forward Leadership Academy, and the National Career Pathways Network Leadership Development Academy. 

As a servant leader, Simmons strives to empower and inspire colleagues to strive for excellence in all endeavors and is willing to serve in any capacity needed to get the job done.  She believes strongly in fostering a culture of family, collaboration, academic excellence, and resilience within any school environment she enters. According to Simmons, “I am honored and incredibly excited to become a part of Delano Optional School and the Frayser Community, and I look forward to getting to know students, families, teachers, and staff and developing powerful partnerships within the community.”   

Simmons is currently pursuing her doctorate in Urban School Leadership at the University of Memphis.  She is a graduate of Whitehaven High School, where she also began her career in education as a classroom teacher. Simmons is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, shopping and spending time with family and friends. She and her husband Reginald have two children; Brien and Kristen.