Crystal Hayman Simms is a native of the New London Avenue community in Newark, Delaware and is an alumna of the historic New London Avenue School. She is a graduate of Newark High School and the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in public administration.
Throughout the many stages of her professional career, she focused on creating new, innovative programs and organizations. While working at UD, Crystal established and managed the institution’s first Employee Assistance and Wellness program. She was also a founding member and chair of the University of Delaware African American Coalition. After joining the national Employee Assistance Professionals Association, she helped to initiate and promote their Cultural Diversity Commission throughout the U.S. At the Mental Health Association in Delaware, Hayman Simms developed a mental health awareness workshop that she presented in workplaces around the state. She went on to create her own business in worksite employee relations and cultural diversity training. Later, she was the administrator of her family tax franchise. For twelve years, she served as an Adjunct English Instructor at Delaware Technical Community College.
Her love of music led to a lifetime of performing in choirs and as a vocal soloist. At Mt. Zion UAME Church, Simms directed the adult Sanctuary Choir, played piano for early morning services, and instituted the youth choir Children of Zion. For 17 years she was owner/director of New Song Music Ministry, where she taught vocal and piano skills to students from ages seven to eighty.
Crystal assisted her childhood friend in presenting the first two Juneteenth Celebrations in the New London Avenue community and has co-led various community initiatives and activities. She is a founding member of the Friends of School Hill Association.
She is the mother of three birth children and three bonus children, all adults now.