The "Simon Prize," created by the school's namesakes Ray and Phyllis Simon, is based on standardized test scores, students’ math grades, whether a student displays excellent performance on assigned projects, as well as participation in extracurricular activities with mathematics involved and the ability to problem solve with mathematics.
Each prize consists of a cash award, financial support for the winners to be able to be a part of a summer activity that would support mathematics and additional support for the girls through grade nine to further their academic mathematic experience including mentoring, advising and specific activities.
Simon Middle School Gifted and Talented Specialist Donna Adolph says it’s important to have awards like this because many middle school girls are pressured not to perform academically.
“For [the Simons] to step up to the plate and inspire the girls is so significant,” Adolph said.
Phyllis Simon says the goal was not only to recognize girls who have achieved in math, but also to provide them with the help to continue achieving and added they were “absolutely delighted” to create this very “new and different project.”
“We are here today celebrating our dream for you, which with a lot of help along the way, has become a reality,” she said. “The Simon Prize is not something we’re giving away, it’s something that had to be earned.”
The Simon Prize recipients were fifth grade $50 winners Isabel R., Taylor T. and Allie B., sixth grade $100 winners were Rebecca B. and Melaina T. and seventh grade $300 winner Chloe H.
Special recognition went to Faryn M., Leilani H., Sydney S., Regan L., Diya M., Kaylon N., Hadyn B. and Annabel S.