Mount Pleasant, Texas, the home of Mount Pleasant Independent School District (MPISD) and Annie Sims Elementary, is a small rural town centrally located in Northeast Texas. Mount Pleasant is a Nationally Recognized Texas Main Street city, has been named one of the “100 Best Small Towns in America”, and is the site of several home grown businesses that employ a large base of manual laborers. These companies have attracted a large number of Hispanic workers. Due to the influx of immigrants into this small town, the Hispanic population has grown dramatically over the last thirty years. From 2002-2009 the increase of Hispanic students in the state of Texas dropped by 5.6%, while the number of Hispanic students in MPISD increased by 33.2%.
Mount Pleasant is made up of approximately 15,200 people, predominantly manual laborers with a high school education or less. The median family income is $32, 331. Approximately 15% of the families in our community are living below poverty level. The community is approximately 42% White, 16% Black, and 41% Hispanic.
Annie Sims was founded and completed during the 1911-1912 school year. Originally named East Ward, the school was renamed in 1958 in honor of Miss Annie Sims, a teacher at the school from 1921 until her retirement in 1957. Annie Sims is one of four elementary campuses in the MPISD. Annie Sims serves 451 students, with 22% students White, 10% students Black, 67% students Hispanic, and 1% other. Among our students 85% are economically disadvantaged, 51% are LEP, and 74% are at-risk.
These diverse statistics led MPISD to determine that our non-negotiable expectation must be to “Build Exceptional Students Together” (BEST). Our district mission is to provide an education that allows students to make college and/or career choices with confidence.
This mission is further reflected in our motto which states “Every Child, Every Time.” At Annie Sims every individual is a stakeholder in the education of each of our students, and each person works diligently to internalize and model our shared vision that we will “Build relationships with all students and enable each to develop individual potential through engaging and varied learning experiences in our schools. Each student will leave MPISD with the skills necessary to assume a place as a productive citizen.” This belief is carried out in a wide variety of ways. Any given day you will find Annie Sims staff utilizing different avenues to further enhance each individual student’s learning. At times, this may mean one child needs a little extra TLC, another child needs to eat breakfast before he can focus on the task at hand, another student needs individualized instruction on a topic he or she finds challenging, and yet another small group of children needs a skill they have been working on for several days taught in a different way.
Annie Sims also employs many annual community building activities such as Meet the Teacher Night, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Grandparent’s Day lunches, the Parent/Student/Teacher Turkey Trot, Harvest Festival, Wax Museum, and student turtle races, just to name a few. Every person at Annie Sims works tirelessly to effectively meet any need, while being ever mindful of the shared belief in our hearts that “Every Child, Every Time” will be valued and successful at Annie Sims Elementary. It is the continued dedication by the entire learning community at Annie Sims that is the driving force behind our success.
In 2008 countless hours of hard work culminated in Annie Sims being named the first — and only — Exemplary campus in MPISD. This honor validated what we already knew: that Annie Sims is firmly committed to the success of every child and will work diligently to achieve that goal. From that point forward, the question became: “Can we do it again?” The resounding answer was “Yes, we can!” with Annie Sims receiving Exemplary status in 2009 and again in 2010.