Your Neighbor: Meet Krissy Simmons
Published 12:05 am Thursday, November 2, 2023
By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier
Krissy Simmons has always had a sense of adventure and curiosity to explore new things. What has always helped her to do that has been the confidence instilled in her by having a close family.
“Growing up with a younger sister and two brothers, I was never bored or lonely,” Simmons said. “We were encouraged to do typical kid things like riding our bikes, playing with our friends outside and staying active. My mom encouraged me to find a sport that I enjoyed, and I realized one summer that would be swimming. It was something that showed me that I loved staying physically fit and competing.
“If I wasn’t swimming, playing with friends or siblings outside, I had my head in a book. I have always been a voracious reader and loved anything with suspense and adventure.”
When you’re a junior going into high school and you’ve had an idyllic childhood, moving to South Carolina didn’t seem like the best idea.
“Growing up in Tonawanda, New York seemed so far from where we had to move for my dad’s job,” Simmons said. “I wasn’t happy about it at all at the time. But it turned out to be a great experience. Luckily, I made friends pretty easily because, at that age, it’s daunting thinking of starting over.”
Knowing that in just two years she would attend college, Simmons wanted to be near her family and find a school that had opportunities to explore a career as a physical therapist.
“I had a swim meet at the University of South Carolina in Columbia,” Simmons said. “I instantly fell in love with the school and decided that’s where I wanted to go. I didn’t apply anywhere else because I felt so strongly about it.
“I had a childhood friend that was from Rhode Island also apply there and ended up attending, too. We had an absolute blast.”
Aside from enjoying the social aspect of college, Simmons learned that she wanted to take a different route academically, too.
“I selected a degree in international business with a minor in German,” Simmons said. “The summer of my senior year, I was given the opportunity to take an internship for a company in Germany. I worked under the head mechanical engineer and learned so much. It reignited my enjoyment to travel and immerse myself in another culture. It provided such a tremendous experience living in a small German town where I had to take a bus to go to and from work. It really challenged my ability to speak and learn the language to the next level. Especially when you’re having to articulate these words that are 10 syllables long that pertain to business functions.”
After her exciting experience in Germany, Simmons graduated and headed to the workforce.
“At that time, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my degree,” Simmons said. “However, because of the housing market, I quickly learned there was a demand and need for mortgage loan officers. I also realized that it allowed me to have flexibility with where I lived. When my good friend Amanda decided to go to law school in Florida, I was able to join her and work down there, too.
“Between her friends in law school and there being a lot of younger professionals at work, we enjoyed our time right out of college. I also met my future husband, Josh, while we were down there. Amanda played matchmaker after Josh and I had met at a gathering. Once we started dating, we realized how much we had in common. We got engaged six months later.”
After Josh graduated from law school, he and Simmons lived in Florida until they realized it was time to start a family.
“At that point, we knew we didn’t want to be so far away,” Simmons said. “Josh decided he would open his own law practice, and I had pursued my certifications to become a personal trainer, so I had flexibility. We moved to North Carolina in August 2009 to set up roots and begin having a family.
“When we moved down here, I continued to do personal training. It also helped during my pregnancy with my daughter, Lilly (10), because I worked out the entire time.”
Once Simmons had her daughter, she and Josh decided that she would stay home full-time to raise Lilly.
“I realized at that time how grateful I was that we had made the decision to be near both his family and mine,” Simmons said. “You realize really quickly how hard but also how fun being a parent is. You want to share that with your family, and we wouldn’t have done it any other way. As a new mom, I embraced all the things. We took the classes to get out of the house and make new friends and walked with friends for exercise that had kids at similar ages.
“I knew for this point in time, I wanted to put everything else on the back burner to spend time with them. It’s a funny thing about being a new parent. You read all the books, you make all of these plans, but you learn very quickly that you have to be flexible. I have to have a color-coded chart to keep things running smoothly in our house, especially when we had our second child, Andy (5). “But I absolutely love it and enjoy spending time taking them to their activities and seeing them grow and thrive.”
As Simmons has redefined her sense of adventure, she also loves seeing her own kids express their curiosity when they try new things.
“I really try to stay active around their school at St. Leo’s,” the soon-to-be PTO president said. “I also don’t mind going to the soccer field for practices and games most of the week.
“I know this time with them is precious, and it’s fun seeing them becoming their own people.”