Adie Simmons is a bi-lingual professional who has devoted her career to the education and well-being of children and families. In 2006 Mrs. Simmons was appointed by Governor Chris Gregoire to develop and direct the Washington State Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO), an agency within the Governor’s Office dedicated to resolving conflict between families and schools, and promoting family engagement in education.
As the Director of OEO, Mrs. Simmons was a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, the State Quality Education Council, the State Achievement Gap Committee, the State Anti-bullying Committee and numerous task forces. She worked with state legislators to introduce and pass state laws affecting public school students and advocated for the participation of diverse families in the public education system.
As the State Education Ombuds, she worked with all Washington school districts and heard from thousands of families whose students were experiencing problems, falling behind academically and/or at risk of dropping out from school. She spearheaded the development of the State’s first Family and Community Engagement model policy for school districts, developed in partnership with the Washington School Directors Association. The realization that parents need to understand the public school system in order to better advocate for their children led her to create the successful “Finding your Voice” parent preparation program. The program, now delivered in a training-of-trainers format, continues to be offered across the state.
Prior to her work in state government, she founded and directed the Family and Community Partnerships Office for Seattle Public Schools where she developed the district’s first comprehensive family and community engagement policy and procedures. She has also held management positions at Shoreline Public Schools, Mothers Against Violence in America, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and has taught English as a Second language and pre-school.
Mrs. Simmons has authored publications, articles and training programs for parents and educators. She is a recognized trainer, public speaker, and university guest lecturer specializing on family and community engagement in education, equity and cultural competence topics. She is a tireless community volunteer who has served in numerous boards and committees and received several awards, including four PTA Golden Acorns, the 2011 Puget Sound ESD’s Crystal Apple Award and the 1997 Governor’s Washington State Excellence in Education Award, all recognizing her contributions public education.
Mrs. Simmons holds a Masters Degree in Education from Western Washington University and a B.A. in Communications/Public Relations from the University of Washington. She is married and has two daughters.