Fitzsimons was appointed in September as a Sun City West Director to complete a one-year vacated term for 2018-19. She currently chairs the Special Committee on Board Development and the Sports Pavilion and Bowling Standing Committee.
She was president of the Governing Council of RISE Learning for Life from 2015 to 2018, and an elected council member for three years prior. The 1,000 member organization provides lifelong learning classes to the West Valley as a student organization of Rio Salado College, Surprise campus. Fitzsimons supervised the employees and evaluated the program.
In 2014 she served as president of the Boomers Club, which provides a wide variety of activities most weeknights for its 1,200 members. Her accomplishments include developing written club operating guidelines, inspiring others to create events, refining the barbecue events, and managing the club’s rapid growth.
Fitzsimons has been an active member of Weavers West since 2010 as a board member and chair of different committees. She recently implemented a strategic planning process for the club and updated its operating procedures.
Fitzsimons has 34 years of experience as a school administrator in Wisconsin. Her most recent position was as a Principal Cognitive Coach for the Milwaukee Public Schools where she coached leaders for excellence and measuring school success for K-12.
Her elementary principal experiences from 1975-2009 were at Yeshiva in Milwaukee, West Bend, Eau Claire (22 years), and Augusta where she guided teachers and managed instructional programs for staffs of up to 70 and student populations up to 525 without an assistant principal. Her career began as a first-grade teacher and unit leader in rural Augusta for a brief six years.
During her career, Fitzsimons chaired numerous committees and worked in leadership roles with multiple groups of parents, students, teachers, other administrators and related educational organizations. She assessed potential principal candidates for the state of Wisconsin and mentored several new principals in Eau Claire. Her written work on teacher evaluation leading to dismissal was used as a model in the state. She spearheaded a large building project in Eau Claire and regularly managed budgets and implemented federal programs for her schools.
Fitzsimons completed coursework in pursuit of a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Minnesota. She possesses a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her bachelor’s degree is from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., with core concentrations in international relations and geography.
Fitzsimons said she is a good listener with a teamwork and consensus leadership style. “I am responsible, committed and organized,” she said. “My background in varied administrative positions and my leadership in Sun City West have prepared me to be an effective board director. I am a full-time resident and a member of a wide variety of Sun City West clubs since arriving in 2009.”