La Plata, MD- The Board of Education recently recognized Katie O’Malley-Simpson for her leadership role in Charles County Public Schools (CCPS). She is a consummate professional in all her duties and goes above and beyond expectations to support CCPS, its mission, students, and staff, Superintendent of Schools Kimberly A. Hill, Ed.D., said.

Whether it was speaking to the press, coordinating a special event, overseeing television and website operations or promoting school system successes, O’Malley-Simpson worked tirelessly for CCPS and Charles County. 

Katie O’Malley-Simpson, director of media relations/communications with Charles County Public Schools, left, was honored with the James E. Richmond Leadership in Excellence Award given by Superintendent of Schools Kimberly A. Hill, Ed.D.

O’Malley-Simpson is highly regarded as a tireless advocate for strategic communications and pushes those around her to achieve excellence. Her passion for education is evident in all that she does for CCPS. For these qualities and her ability to lead with passion, O’Malley-Simpson was named the 2021 recipient of the James E. Richmond Leadership in Excellence Award.

Hill presented O’Malley-Simpson the award at the Board of Education’s May meeting. In presenting the award, Hill said O’Malley-Simpson was a natural choice for an award recognizing someone who leads by example. The Richmond Leadership Award is a tribute to a CCPS employee who during their career led by example and had a positive and lasting impact on the school system, Hill said.

The award was established in 2013 to honor CCPS staff members who exhibit high standards of excellence and leadership. The award is named in honor of former longtime Superintendent James E. Richmond, who spent his entire educational career with CCPS. Former Board of Education Chairman Col. Donald M. Wade launched the award to honor Richmond when he announced his retirement plans.

O’Malley-Simpson began her CCPS career in 1994 as a graphic design/editor and advanced to the communications coordinator position before being named the director of communications and media relations in 2010. Working for CCPS became her second career, having served more than a decade as a reporter and editor of the local newspaper, The Maryland Independent. Hill said O’Malley-Simpson’s work ethic at the newspaper was guided by the “core values of journalism—humility, accuracy and fairness—the same values she continues to model today.”

During her career, O’Malley-Simpson took on the role of spokesperson for the school system and guided communications through numerous years, some of which drew national attention. Hill said O’Malley-Simpson was a strategic thinker and planner who was one of her go-to sources as a sounding board and for support.

After a 27-year career with CCPS, O’Malley-Simpson is retiring at the end of the school year on June 30. She said the highlights of her career include helping to develop the school system’s first website, facilitating the addition of live streaming to include Board meetings, graduations and special events, and promoting the success of students and staff members for a job well done. “As the Communications/Media Relations director, I had the privilege of helping to spread the good news about the continuous successes of CCPS students and staff. I have been most fortunate to help lead the Communications team, a group of extremely hard-working individuals who use their talents to promote the school system, students and staff,” O’Malley-Simpson said.

A plaque featuring the Richmond Leadership Award honorees is on display outside of the boardroom at the CCPS Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building. One honoree is selected for the award annually.

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