Bertie's Impact

"An absorbing memoir written with poetic flair"

A gifted truth-teller, Bertie Simmons has enlightening stories to share. Drawn from her exceptional life experiences, she has shaped an absorbing memoir written with poetic flair. Reading Whispers of Hope is a vivid experience. I felt I was running barefoot alongside her as a ten-year-old, swinging on the vines in rural Louisiana with her beloved friend, Dorothy. Moving through her fascinating vignettes, I felt like a witness to the growth over the years of a remarkable educator willing to dive into any challenge with intelligence and conviction. It becomes clear why she was able to conceive and develop an inspired and award-winning high school that became the community heart of troubled Houston area. Bertie literally turned around the lives of hundreds of young people and their families. With directness, realism, and reflection, she completes her tale by unraveling the difficult series of events surrounding her loss of that school. Bertie Simmons emerges strong and valiant. Whispers of Hope is a hero’s journey.

- Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, President, Curriculum Designers, Inc.


"Bertie Simmons is a force for transforming education into a more equitable, engaging opportunity"

Bertie Simmons is a force for transforming education into a more equitable, engaging opportunity for all students to find out who they are and who they can become. This book is a combination of a memoir that tells us the backstory of what drives her passion and the incredible accomplishments that she has done on behalf of students in Houston, TX. After reading this book, you will be inspired to reflect on your own backstory and how you can lift yourself to new actions to work on behalf of the future of all of our children.

- Bena Kallick, Ph.D, Author and Co-Director of the Institute for Habits of Mind