Do You Really Know Randall Simpson?

All sophomore students take a course with Randall Simpson.


Camryn Church

English teacher Randall Simpson poses at his desk during English II.

Camryn Church, Editor

Some may only know English teacher Randall Simpson as an educator, but there is a lot more about Simpson that many may not be aware of. 

One of Simpson’s first jobs as a young kid was peeling potatoes and washing dishes. Simpson was so young that his dad had to drop him off. After this experience, Simpson took to bagging groceries at a local supermarket. As if that wasn’t enough, Simpson also put in hours working at a bookstore. 

In college, Simpson worked at a restaurant. He also spent time as a set PA in movies and became a production coordinator. As a PA, Simpson helped in mostly suspenseful and horror flicks. “Not intentionally, it’s just what was available,” Simpson said. He doesn’t have a favorite genre when it comes to cinematic masterpieces. “I watch everything,” he said. Simpson’s favorite movies are the first two installments in “The Godfather” series.

Finally, he went to college to become the educator students have grown to know. Before coming to Atlantic to teach, he taught at a small school called Moulton-Udell in southeast Iowa.

Simpson got his undergrad from the University of Iowa. His degrees are in Cinema and Comparative Literature. Simpson received his graduate degree from Drake University. His master is in Secondary Education.

When it comes to tunes, Simpson isn’t picky, but usually stays away from modern music. His favorite bands and artists “of all time are LEAN, The Flaming Lips, The Grateful Dead, and Bob Dylan,” Simpson said. The English teacher also noted he’s seen all of them live in concert. He said, “My favorite song of all time is “Let it Be” by the Beatles.” 

Students who have had Simpson as a teacher know about the infamous coffee mug that is usually perched upside down in his classroom. Students would walk into class, and before the bell rang, would place the mug in a hard-to-find spot for Simpson to locate it. The notorious mug has since disappeared. A student of Simpsons has purchased another for him, this time with Simpson’s face on one side, and Randall from “Monsters Inc.” on the other. 

Simpson enjoys teaching all classes but loves teaching American Literature in particular. “I really like what we read. I think we read some really neat stuff,” Simpson said. His favorite novel is “Wonder Boys” and while Simpson is not totally sure of the reason why, he thinks it’s because he “relates to the character.” The character in question is a college professor whose life is a mess. “He meets this one person and they just kinda turn it all around. I really like that idea,” he said.

This is Simpson’s second year teaching at AHS.