Huntington, WV Black History

Lottie J. Simms


Lottie J. Simms was a dedicated educator and the first Black woman in Cabell County to serve as a school principal.

Simms was born on January 30, 1942.  She was a fighter from an early age as she was diagnosed with polio at the age of 9.

Two years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision at the U.S. Supreme Court, Simms transitioned from Douglass High School to the newly-integrated Huntington High School and graduated from there in 1959. She attended Marshall University and received a master’s degree in education.

She then sought a teaching job in Cabell County but was denied and told she had to have teaching experience. Simms moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and taught a year there to gain experience. She moved back to Cabell County and was hired as a teacher at Simms Elementary School. She then completed training to become a principal in 1969 and was hired at Park Hills Elementary School.

Simms also served as president of the Elementary Principal Association and was on the Cabell County Public Library Board of Directors, Board of Directors for Universal Federal Credit Union and Board of Directors for the City of Huntington Foundation.


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