Janet Carol Powell Simon, elementary school teacher

January 13, 1995|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

Janet Carol Powell Simon, who continued teaching her Westside Elementary students despite being terminally ill, died of cancer Jan. 6 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Ashburton resident was 45.

"There is a sad cloud over the school this week. We're all in mourning," said Frances Parks, Westside's principal.

Mrs. Simon, a 22-year veteran of city classrooms, worked as a master teacher at both Westside Elementary and Duke Ellington Primary School.

"She taught everyone with a common touch, and she knew how to make all the students, teachers and parents feel special," said Mrs. Parks, "and she believed that every student had the right to succeed.

"She never tried to hide her illness and never missed a day. She was determined not to give in and continued to work until she couldn't anymore. On Dec. 13, she said to me, 'I'm giving it up. I have to,' " and that's the day she left," said Mrs. Parks.

"We were all luckily touched by her."

Born in Baltimore, she was reared in Edmondson Village and was a 1967 graduate of Western High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Coppin State College in 1972, and a master's in public administration from Johns Hopkins University in 1979.

After starting her career as a teacher in 1972, she later became a coordinator of the Learning Through the Arts Program.

She was a member and active in the affairs of St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she was a member of the usher and steward boards and taught both Sunday and vacation Bible school. She was also president of the Mae Frazier Missionary Society.

She was a member of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women and the Coppin State Alumni Association.

Her first marriage ended in divorce.

In 1986, she married Leroy "Mickey" Simon, a regional account manager for Mallinckrodt Medical Inc., and the couple enjoyed traveling and entertaining family and friends.

Services are set for noon tomorrow at St. John A.M.E. Church, 810 Carrollton Ave.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a son, Raoul Edwards of Baltimore; her parents, Alfred and Neutrodyne Powell of Baltimore; and two step-daughters, Monica Simon and Tammie Simon, both of Baltimore.

The family suggested memorial donations to the St. John AME Church.

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