GuthrieAmerica: Kelly Simpson
VIDEO ABOVE IS HEADY’S INTRO.
Tell the world your name.
Where were you born specifically?
I was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. My family moved to Stillwater when I was 7 years old when my Dad accepted a business transfer. My family visited Wisconsin at least once a year since then and we still love all the wonderful things about that state. Yes, go Pack! I grew up in Stillwater and still love our Pioneers and Cowboys!
When did you move to Guthrie?
We moved to Guthrie in June 2012 when my husband, Mike, accepted the Superintendent position for Guthrie Public schools. Prior to moving here, we lived in Ponca City for 4 years. Mike was an Assistant Superintendent for PCPS and I was a counselor at the youth and family services agency.
What's the best part about living in Guthrie?
Guthrie maintains the small, historic town feeling but they like to ‘go big’ with so many events, festivals and the town celebrates everything from the arts to Friday night football. The geographic location is great with being close to a big city and my hometown.
What does Guthrie have that other towns don't?
I am not aware of a celebration like Territorial Christmas anywhere else. Wait, 89er Days! Oh, Guthrie Homecoming is huge! This is a big question Heady.
Are you a Guthrie High School alumni?
I am not a GHS alum. I graduated from Stillwater High School (SHS) with a class of 330. I love to attend reunions as our class has maintained a good connection and we have a great time.
Where do you currently work and how long?
When we moved to Guthrie I worked as a counselor at Logan Community Services. I now work at Langston University where I have been for five years and serve as the Assistant Director of Counseling and Health Services and a counselor. I am a licensed counselor and provide clinical services to students for individual and group counseling along with the administrative duties.
What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy the energy of being on a college campus and working with the students. The need for mental health support for the age range of 18-24 continues to increase globally and I appreciate the opportunity to be a resource for students. Many Langston students are from out of state, so we strive to provide a good network of support for them to help foster their success.
Do you have family here? If so explain...:
My family includes my husband of 13 years, Mike Simpson, who is the Superintendent of Guthrie Public Schools. Our almost 9-year-old daughter Abigail is a 3rd grader at Central Elementary and our 5-year-old son Colin is in Pre-K at Willow Creek. My parents live in Stillwater, so we get good quality time with grandparents and they still like to babysit thank goodness!
How did you first hear or learn about the GuthrieAmerica brand?
I first heard about it when I saw the Guthrie America t-shirts and then who could not miss it?! The brand, the information and the posts were everywhere. It was hard to miss #chooseguthrie and Guthrie America.
Why do you wear GuthrieAmerica tee?
I wear the tee because it is comfortable. Who doesn’t love a really good t-shirt?! Seriously, I am proud to spread the great news about what is developing in this community. My family wore the t-shirts on the beautiful Del Mar, CA beach near San Diego. You might have seen that picture.
What are your favorite things to do in Guthrie?
My favorite things to do in Guthrie are to visit our great coffee shops and local restaurants, attend activities such as Red Brick Nights and the Christmas events. I also enjoy attending as many GPS events as possible to see the great things happening with arts, music and athletics.
How would you define what it means when you hear or say COMMUNITY WINS?
Community wins to me means that it takes everyone to be a part of creating great possibilities. One example I want to make sure I mention is that it took the community to get things moving with the school district. The great changes that are happening cannot be accomplished by one or two people. It took the community. Another example is the First Christian Church stocking outreach. The FCC Outreach team put that together but that doesn’t happen with one congregation. It took the efforts of many to organize and the community to bless 200 children with a Christmas gift. The Community won those two!!
Anything significant about your life you would like to share?
I have three brothers, one older and two younger. At times, growing up, it felt a little unfair to be the only girl but when we were older and in high school I knew I always has someone watching out for me, so I learned to embrace a house of boys. We don’t live close together now, but we enjoy family time when we are all together. I have 5 fabulous nieces and nephews. I am proud of my heritage with my grandmother coming to American from Yugoslavia and my genealogy consists of Slovenian, Dutch and German. My families carry on many traditions from the past generations mostly centered around food which I love.
Lastly, we love SHOUT OUTS! Who do you want to give a shout out to?
My husband Mike for all the great things about him and his Community Wins Spirit!
Wait, one more. What does it mean to CHOOSE GUTHRIE?
Invest, volunteer, support, be engaged, be informed.