- The Washington Times - Friday, July 27, 2001

Deborah Simmons, an editorial writer and columnist on Metropolitan affairs, was appointed yesterday as deputy editor of the editorial page of The Washington Times. She succeeds Kenneth Smith, who died July 3.
Ms. Simmons, 48, came to The Times in 1985, three years after the newspaper was founded, from the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. She also worked as a reporter for the old Washington Evening Star. She has held several editing positions at The Times, including editor of the Features section and deputy editor of the Metropolitan pages.
She has written a column for the Metropolitan pages and for the weekly Family Times section, and her column on District affairs runs on the op-ed page on Fridays.
She was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Washington, where she attended public schools, graduating from Anacostia High School, and attended the University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College. She is a member of the Washington Association of Black Journalists and the Greater Washington Urban League.
Wesley Pruden, the editor in chief of The Times who made the appointment, said of Ms.Simmons: "She is one of our old reliables, 'old' only in that she was here for the long march through the newspaper's early days, and the emphasis is on reliable. She has what every good reporter and writer needs, and not all have, a filter for cant and poison moonshine. Her work is full of the common sense, often politically incorrect, that readers expect of The Washington Times."
Said Helle Bering, editor of the editorial page: "Debbee has been a tremendous asset to the editorial page since she joined us. Very few people, if any, know more than Debbee about politics in the District of Columbia. She has guided our editorial-page coverage of the school system crises and the fiscal crises and recovery of the District with a sure hand. She's a player in District politics — and equally importantly, a real team player on the staff. On issues like family values and race relations, Debbee's is the voice of common sense, and often articulated with glowing passion."
Ms. Simmons has won numerous journalism awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists Dateline Award in 1998 for her series of editorials on D.C. public schools, and last year's best editorial award from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.
She is a regular panelist on City Cable 16's "Reporters' Roundtable." She lives in Northeast Washington with her husband, Rickey Robinson. They are the parents of four children and have two grandchildren.

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