CEO, HOPE School Services
From her early years working with young children, Sylvia Simmons knew she wanted to be an educator. “I just fell in love with being able to help and mold students,” the Wilmington resident recalls.
Working at schools in New Jersey and California, Simmons found her way to an alternative school, where she “honed in on special education,” she says. “Teaching all students is absolutely great; I just felt that from time to time students with specific needs may be overlooked, misjudged or even misdiagnosed. I felt that in my heart I could do a great job in providing them the services that they needed.”
She’s been dedicated to that mission for nearly a decade and launched HOPE School Services in 2017, working with schools and teachers to ensure the needs of special education students are met. Through assessments, evaluations, training, and compliance with state and federal regulations, Simmons is the go-to resource for a number of schools throughout the state.
“A lot of the students gain more confidence when their needs are being met,” she says, which includes assessing how to best assist them in the classroom—whether with an aide, technology like an audio book, or other modalities. “This is my passion. I want to put everything that I have into it,” she says.