Misha Simmonds of University Heights Charter School in Newark, NJ, has been honored as Playworks’ Most Valuable Principal. University Heights students at the school describe him as “silly, a great player, a good teacher and above all else, fun.”  In addition to his outstanding mentorship and communications with the Playworks staff, Mr. Simmonds plays with the kids on the playground and is one of the fastest adults ever to “turn over as many cones as possible during a game of Bulldozers and Builders.

“Mr. Simmonds embodies the power of play and its transformative ability to enhance the culture of a school,” says Playworks Newark Executive Director Adeola Whitney. “While he is a serious educator and has made remarkable improvements and strides at the school, he has done so with a smile and by getting out on the playground to ensure his students are active and engaged at recess. He’s truly committed to play.”