Having lived in Brunswick County for forty years, Tom Simmons understands the issues facing its citizens today. Not unlike most others drawn to southeastern North Carolina, Simmons enjoys spending time on the beaches, swimming and surfing in the ocean, and fishing and boating in the waterway and creeks. Faced with the looming threat of off-shore drilling that could affect our county, Simmons understands how vital commercial fishing families and the tourism industry are to Brunswick County’s economy and wellbeing. But his passion for the county goes even deeper than environmental concerns. Simmons believes that improved education is essential to a strong economic future and should be a priority with fully-funded classrooms and expanded Early Childhood Education programs.
Simmons put himself through college at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and went on to earn a Master of Education at the University of South Carolina and a Education Specialist Degree from East Carolina University. Simmons served as classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in Southeastern North Carolina for more than thirty years. He is currently the Vice President of Education for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.
Most educators don’t have expectations of running for political office, but during his career as a teacher and a school administrator, Simmons saw first-hand how education and politics are intertwined. He continually fought against proposed budget cuts and advocated for teacher salary increases and the addition of guidance counselors at the elementary level, realizing that investing in education in Brunswick County was the key to future economic growth in the area and a chance at upward mobility for its citizens.
As one the largest counties in square miles, with one of the fastest growing populations in North Carolina, Brunswick County should and could be a leader in economic development. But over the past decade, local and state representatives of Brunswick County have neglected their duty to provide for the highest standards of education for our children; they’ve failed to protect our coast from potentially devastating harmful environmental policies; and they have ignored the all overall wellbeing of the citizens of Brunswick County
Simmons has served on numerous county and congressional democratic committees in the areas of budget and policy development, including the State Executive Committee. His eagerness to listen to and work with the citizens of Brunswick County, his ability to use sound judgement and reasoning skills in his decision making processes, and his promise to put Brunswick County’s best interests over party ideology sets him apart from the opposition in the race for the North Carolina House of Representatives in District 17. Simmons is running for the NC House not to fill or kill time, but to do the right things, and do things right.