Dr. Simpson is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He began his career in criminal justice after receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of West Georgia in 1986. After working in a maximum-security prison for four years and observing so many individuals who had ruined their lives, he decided that he could become a part of the solution instead of the problem. He set out to help young people avoid having to serve time in a correctional institution or in the penal system. He re-enrolled at the State University of West Georgia where he obtained certification to teach middle grades. He embarked upon his career as an educator in 1991 teaching elementary school for two years and in middle school for three years. Dr. Simpson experienced tremendous success as a teacher, mentor, and leader.
Feeling that he could be a more effective leader as a school administrator, Dr. Simpson re-enrolled at State University West Georgia for a third time to pursue a Master of Education Degree in Administration and Supervision. To further strengthen his academic portfolio, he completed his Specialist in Educational Leadership in 2002, and earned a Doctorate of Education in Supervision and Leadership at the University of Sarasota in February of 2004. In 2007, he chronicled his challenges as a student in a book entitled, “From Remedial to Remarkable.”
Dr. Simpson has served as principal at Stone Mountain High School and Miller Grove High School. In June of 2013, he was appointed to turnaround the most challenging high school in the school district, Towers High School. Immediately, he changed the culture and climate of the school by establishing high expectations for teachers and students. He was instrumental in establishing a foundation and creating a high culture of learning for the students in this community while instilling a renewed interest in school spirit. His primary goal for his school was to provide a learning environment “free of distractions, free of disruptions, and providing teachers an opportunity to teach and maximize on the students’ opportunities to learn. He strongly encourages students to work far beyond expectations and excel in the areas of standardized tests and academic achievement. Above all, he stressed character and self-motivation as viable tools to achieve personal success.
Under his leadership at Towers, this school experienced tremendous growth and achievement with double-digit gains in Economics, 9th grade Literature and the graduation rate. In September of 2014, Dr. Simpson was recognized as the DeKalb County School District Principal of the Year. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to the position of Regional Superintendent.
In July 2017, Dr. Ralph Simpson was appointed Deputy Superintendent for the Division of School Leadership and Improvement for Clayton County Public School District. He came with over twenty years of experience in education. In an effort to empower leaders to maximize their full potential, Dr. Simpson purposes to inspire, encourage, and motivate leaders at all levels. Dr. Simpson consistently provides school and district leaders with a Quote of the Day (QOD) that compels leaders to self-reflect and commit to higher standards. One recent QOD states, “Your commitment to getting better needs to be more important than your commitment to getting better scores.”
Additionally, Dr. Simpson has also been entrusted with consolidating the Division of School Leadership and Improvement with the Division of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment to form a cohesive unit to fulfill the Superintendent’s vision of Clayton County Public Schools as a high performing school district. A proponent of Restorative Practices in education. Dr. Simpson brings a wealth of knowledge. His goal is to align resources that address the social, emotional, and intellectual needs of learners, which will in turn produce students who are globally competitive and college and career ready. Upon Dr. Simpson’s arrival to Clayton County and his passion for mentoring our male students to ensure they are prepared for the real world, Clayton County School District accepted, through Dr. Simpson, the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Challenge. The MBK challenge was established by President Obama, who charged local communities to develop an action plan centered on six milestones to tackle the opportunity gaps for young men. Those milestones are: Getting a Healthy Start and Entering School Ready to Learn; Reading at Grade Level by Third Grade; Graduating from High School Ready for College and Career; Completing Postsecondary Education or Training; Successfully Entering the Workforce; and Keeping Kids on Track and Giving Them Second Chances. Dr. Simpson’s passion for our students is why the 2018 MBK Summit was successful and over 2,000 of our young males attended this summit. Comment from a student, “this is awesome, I now know that I can and I will”.
A graduate of Howard University’s Urban Superintendents’ Academy (The School Superintendents Association). He is professionally certified in Trauma and Resilience. Dr. Simpson is involved in a myriad of professional and public service organizations. Among these are the National Association of Educators, Georgia Association of Educators, DeKalb Association for Secondary School Administrators and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. In addition to traveling the United States to speak to various colleges and organizations, he is an adjunct professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Simpson is the proud father of two, son Chandler, who is a Junior student at Georgia Tech University and daughter Skyla, who is a tenth grader. His accomplishments are attributed to determination, diligence, dedication, and tenacity.
Dr. Simpson’s personal motto is: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” He considers himself as “an ordinary person attempting to do extraordinary things.”