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Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of Maryland at College Park.

An occasional panelist on Roland Martin's “Washington Watch” and Denise Rolark Barnes' “Let's Talk” weekly news analysis cable-TV programs, Mrs. Simmons has also appeared on BET's “Lead Story,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and Mr. Maher's “Politically Incorrect,” “America's Black Forum,” Fox News' “The O'Reilly Factor,” “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams,” C-SPAN's “Washington Journal,” and “This is America with Dennis Wholey.” She also has been a guest radio commentator on NPR, WAMU, WMAL and WOL.

Mrs. Simmons attended the University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College. She and her husband, who live in Washington, have four children and two grandchildren. Contact Mrs. Simmons at


Articles by Deborah Simmons

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: D.C.'s race for mayor in spotlight

Washington is hardly a one-newspaper town. Yet while its major news organs compete by devoting considerable resources to national and foreign affairs, its other papers and blogs are shining bright lights inside City Hall. Published October 28, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Muslim college backed

One of Egypt's senior Muslim clerics supports the concept of a Muslim college being established in the United States, telling The Washington Times last week that it would help foster better relations between the West and the Muslim world. Published October 12, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: 'Builder' forges schools

Donald L. Hense, chairman of Friendship Public Charter Schools, has been many things to many people, and many of the recipients don't know his name. To Mr. Hense, who calls himself a "serial entrepreneur" and a "builder," that's OK because he has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves. Published September 21, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Sorority sisters claim funds misused

Eight members of a Greek-lettered sorority, whose ranks will include first lady Michelle Obama once she is inducted, claim in a lawsuit that their president and others misused funds on designer clothing and lingerie and failed to get approval from the membership on expenditures. Published August 3, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: The screenwriter's dilemma

"I received my entire musical education in the New York City public school system," composer Michael Kamen, who died in 2003, once said. "I had there my most incredible experience. While we were working on '[Mr.] Holland's Opus' I went back to [the] music and art [room] ... and in the room was a graveyard of musical instruments ... 400 or 500 violins, flutes, trombones, trumpets, oboes, everything piled up to the ceiling. And they were all broken and busted." Published July 5, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM: Visually philanthropic

Meet Michael Guillen: scientist, author, Emmy winner and loving husband and father. He also is a child of God who doesn't talk about coincidences. For him, prayer, divine intervention and the golden rule are the simple facts of life, situated along the straight and narrow, that led him to his newest roles as philanthropist and film producer. Published June 28, 2009

D.C. school chief gives herself an 'F'

Despite lower dropout rates, higher graduation rates and improved standardized test scores, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee gives herself a failing grade on her first 20 months in office. Published March 16, 2009

D.C., charter to restructure Anacostia H.S.

D.C. Public Schools and Friendship Charter Schools are joining forces to restructure the troubled Anacostia High School in Southeast. But Anacostia will remain a traditional public school, Ramona Edelin, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Association, said last week. Published February 22, 2009

Mom ruled competent for murder trial

"I am not insane." So said Banita Jacks Friday at her competency hearing in D.C. Superior Court. Judge Frederick Weisberg, who said he considered Miss Jacks competent when she appeared before him a year ago, ruled her competent to stand trial for the murder of her four children. Published February 14, 2009

Accused killer's competency at issue

D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg on Friday told the woman accused of killing her four daughters that he was going to ask her some questions, but defendant Banita M. Jacks had another plan. Published February 7, 2009

Judge probes Jacks' fitness

The D.C. mother charged with killing her four daughters and staying in their Southeast home as the bodies decomposed is scheduled to appear Friday in D.C. Superior Court. Published February 6, 2009

Neurosurgeon extols role of faith and family in life

Fame rests easily on the shoulders of Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson, the Baltimore neurosurgeon who stunned the world when, in 1987, he led a team of more than 70 specialists in a groundbreaking operation to separate Siamese twins who were joined at the head. Published February 1, 2009

Carson fund helps to inspire students

The Carson Scholars Fund helps defer the costs of college for students who maintain a 3.75 GPA and meet other qualifications, including civic mindedness. Published February 1, 2009

D.C. leaders hope for voting rights

D.C. officials basking in the glow of Tuesday's record-breaking inaugural celebration say they came through for President Obama, and now they are hoping the president and his new administration will do the same for them. Published January 23, 2009

District braces for road chaos

Road-closing plans for Tuesday's inaugural ceremony could extend to Interstate 95 and other major highways, going well beyond the unprecedented measures already announced, officials say. Published January 16, 2009

SIMMONS: Confusion reigns

You needn't be well-versed in the opening lines of Genesis to know how we got here or who's really in charge. But with the holiest of seasons upon us, we obviously need to be reminded of the reason for the season. Published December 5, 2008

SIMMONS: Educating the Obama girls

The Obamas in short order will occupy the most expensive public housing in the land and, consequently, will need schools for their daughters –- Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. There are many possibilities in Washington, which has educated Roosevelts and Gores, actors Dave Chappelle and Jeffrey Wright, and talk-radio maven Diane Rehm and Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's lone congressional representative. Yet it is unlikely the Obama girls will attend D.C. Public Schools, which don't have much to offer the soon-to-be first family. Published November 21, 2008