In 2005, Joyce Flowers was named the new principal of Madison Richard Simis Elementary School, serving more than 900 students in grades kindergarten through fourth. In the 14 years since, Flowers has become a beloved and powerful leader that supports and lifts up her students, teachers, team members, parents, the Madison District and her North Central Phoenix community.
Flowers stepped down from her longtime post in June, moving on to new opportunities. She leaves behind a grateful—and sad—community.
“To say that Joyce will be missed is an understatement. She is a friend, teacher, administrator, mentor, mother, and through it all, a consummate professional that knows the names of just about every one of the 900 students at Simis,” shared Sarah Speer, Madison Elementary School District Governing Board member. “I feel privileged to have been able to learn from her and to call her a friend.”
One significant accomplishment for Flowers at Simis was leading the school to become one of only seven elementary schools in Arizona to earn an International Baccalaureate (IB) World Designation. The IB status involves a rigorous three-year authorization process of self-study, professional development and curriculum development to benefit students.
As Simis IB coordinator Melissa Powers shared, “It’s not easy to shift an entire school from one way of thinking to another, however Dr. Flowers was able to help our school stay on course through the long and sometimes difficult authorization process, providing tremendous professional and personal support to us as teachers and team members.”
Flowers and Simis have won numerous awards the past 14 years. She has been a presenter, keynote speaker and panelist for multiple international and national education conferences, volunteered as a community leader and worked hand-in-hand with Simis’ PATS (Parents and Teachers at Simis) group to support and lift up Simis students.
Although Flowers is moving on, her focus on each child to ensure their social, emotional and academic needs are being met will live on at Simis.