“Human history,” he said, “is more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
That philosophy is shared by Tri-Cities Principal Dan Sims and was an underlying theme of an array of tributes Sims received recently when more than 125 of his fellow educators, co-workers, family, friends and even former teachers attended a celebration of Sims as he was named the recipient of the first Fulton County “Principal of the Year” award.
Following a parade of speakers to the podium, including retired Tri-Cities Principal Herschel Robinson who was Sims principal when Sims graduated from the school in 1989, as well as Fulton County School Board Member Catherine Maddox, Fulton County Superintendent Robert Avossa, Ed.D., and a host of others, an emotional Sims took the podium and said all the credit goes to God.
“God’s hand is in everything we do and that hold so true for education,” Sims said. “All I have tried to do in the past 17 years as an educator and administrator is to do God’s will as he directs me.”
Aaron Johnson, assistant band director at Tri-Cities, said that, as a Tri-Cities graduate, “no one knows the life of a Tri-Cities student better than Dan Sims because he has been just that, a student here at the school he now leads.”
Former East Point Councilman Clyde Mitchell, a fraternity brother of Sims, said he is an awesome individual, “with a heart and mind directed at one thing, his students, who are also East Point’s children.”
Mitchell’s words were no better exemplified than in city council proclamations presented to Sims by Hapeville Mayor Alan Hallman and East Point Councilman Myron Cook.
In addressing Sims audience of supporters, Robinson revealed a time when Sims, as an undergraduate, informed him that he was leaving school.
“After talking with him, I told Dan he had a future as an educator and would, some day, be commissioned to be principal as Dan believes, as I do, that it is all about the children,” Robinson said.
Will Rumbaugh, superintendent of the Tri-Cities Cluster Schools, said he met Sims two years ago and found him to not only be a guiding light for students at Tri-Cities, “but a guiding light in the community.”
“Dan Sims is not only focused in building students to lead productive lives, but he is also focused on building the East Point community,” he said.