"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.