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Surprise honor for CUSD’s Simmonds
• Assistant superintendent awarded Peter Johansen Award
Jay Simmonds and wife
Jay Simmonds with his wife Darlene after he accepted a surprise award at the Martin Petersen Center in Modesto on Thursday.

Jay Simmonds had no idea he was going to be honored at the Stanislaus Partners in Education’s Recognition Luncheon at the Petersen Center in Modesto last Thursday until he saw a familiar face.

 “When my wife (Darlene) walked into the ceremony, that’s when I figured it out,” he said. “I knew she wouldn’t be there for any other reason. It was a huge surprise.”

Simmonds, assistant superintendent of Student Support Services for Ceres Unified School District, was named the recipient of the Peter Johansen Award.

 “I’m very humbled and honored,” he said. “It’s a nice recognition. I’m embarrassed because I don’t know if I deserve it. It’s just nice to know others value the work that you’ve done.”

“It’s so well-deserved,” CUSD Communications Specialist Beth Jimenez said. “He’s led our Career Technical Education program for a number of years. He’s really made it his mission to build and strengthen that program and provide as many opportunities as possible for our students.”

Simmonds was named Career Technical Education Leader of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) in 2015. He also won the ACSA’s Region 7 award.