Citizen Awards 2006
Anna Simmons has been working on her Oscar acceptance speech since she was 8 years old. She believes in being prepared.

This remarkable and versatile member of the RB class of 2006, a resident of Brookfield, has been on stage since she was 4 years old when she played Jack in “Jack in the Beanstalk” in a backyard production directed by her older brother. She has been on stage ever since.

“My Dad says that I’ve always liked performing since I could walk,” says Simmons. “I just like the attention on me and running around making people laugh. I was seven years old telling people I was going to be an actress and writing my Oscar speech since I was 8.”

At RB Simmons acted in plays and improvisational comedy all four years. She was introduced to Improv as a freshman when she was a big hit in a school Improv show.

“Improvisational comedy is my favorite form of theater,” says Simmons. “Improv is like holding Jell-O. It’s like you’re in control of the Jell-O, but it’s going all over the place at the same time.”

She also loves dramatic theater. At RB she has major roles in “The Complete History of America,” “As You Like It” and, as a senior, played Rebecca Nurse this year in “The Crucible.”

But Simmons is also one of the best students in her class, with a weighted GPA of around 4.6 and unweighted GPA of 3.98. She ranked 15th in her class of 292 seniors. She has a passion for Shakespeare and chose to take a class in Shakespeare her senior year rather than an AP Literature class that would have boosted her weighted GPA and class rank. She still managed to take six AP classes while at RB and scored a 32 on the ACT.

Simmons plans double major in theater and physics at Kalamazoo College. While most people respond to that combination with surprise, Simmons says that she thinks her passion for acting and physics mesh really well. Both a play and physics problem involve taking small steps building toward a final resolution.

Simmons was on the speech team for three years, co-captaining the team her senior year, and in band and the jazz ensemble for four years, playing first saxophone for three years.

Simmons adores the 1960’s, and her penchant for hippie skirts reveals her fondness for that era and craves her uniqueness.

She believes in service and giving back. Simmons is active in her church, Grace Lutheran Church of LaGrange, and has for the past two years gone on summer work trips to Native American reservations. Last year she helped replace a roof on a home on a Northern Cheyenne reservation is Montana.

“We got so dirty and it was so much fun,” said Simmons smiling at the memory.

She works at British Home as an activity aide, often working in the Alzheimer’s and dementia unit.

“I really like socializing with them,” said Simmons. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s really nice to feel appreciated, needed, and loved.”

Although her parents divorced when she was 2 years old, Simmons has maintained close relationships with both her parents going so far as to exactly divide her time between their two households.

“She’s very talented,” said RB Superintendent/Principal Jack Baldermann. “I’m most impressed with her decency and kindness. Even though she has multiple talents I’m most impressed with who she is as a person.”

Last book read, not for class:

“Confessions of an Ugly
Stepsister” by Gregory Maguire

Favorite song:

“Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles

Most influential person other than parents:

Pastor Steven Palo, a
former pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in LaGrange.

Where will you be in 10 years?

“Acting, doing a one-man comedy show on stage.”

How would you creatively spend your lottery winnings?

After paying for the college educations of her little brother and sister and buying her mother a new car, she would start a radio station that would broadcast recordings of stand-up comics, Broadway show tunes and the Beatles.

One thing you would keep the same (or change) about RB:

“They should put a lot more emphasis on the arts, music and drama.”