Yvonne Sims, Halle Berry’s 5th Grade Teacher: 5 Fast Facts

Halle Berry on Celebrity IOU

HGTV Halle Berry joined Drew and Jonathan Scott on "Celebrity IOU."

Yvonne Sims is Halle Berry’s fifth grade teacher and lifelong mentor. The Oscar winner enlisted the help of Drew and Jonathan Scott to surprise Sims with a home renovation on “Celebrity IOU.”

Teasing the episode in her Instagram Story, Berry wrote, “my heart is so full. Nobody deserves this more.”

The HGTV series follows the “Property Brothers” stars as they help celebrities surprise important people in their lives with renovations. This season’s other stars include Tiffany Haddish, Anthony Anderson, Howie Mandel, Snoop Dogg, Lisa Kudrow, John C. Reilly and Ali Wong.

Here is what you need to know:


1. Sims Was Berry’s 5th Grade Teacher

Sims was one of two black teachers at a predominantly white school in Cleveland, Ohio when she came into Berry’s life. She was the “Bruised” actress’ fifth grade teacher.

“My mom was a single mom, so she worked a lot. My sister and I were very much latchkey kids,” Berry said, as quoted by People. “She sort of took me in under her wing. I had a white mother and she — being a Black woman — taught me about my culture.”

She continued, “We had this thing called cookie talks. I would go to her house and we would sit at the kitchen table and have really deep conversations.”


2. Berry Considers Sims a ‘Second Mom’

Berry told the Scott twins that she views Sims as a “second mom.” The “X-Men” actress paid tribute to her and all of the “other mothers” for Mother’s Day in 2022.

“On Mother’s Day, not only do I reflect on what it truly means to be a mother — and the importance of a mother’s love — I also reflect on what it means to receive love from a mother and sometimes that love comes from ‘another mother,’” Berry wrote on Instagram. “Yvonne Sims has been my ‘Other Mother’ since she was my 5th grade teacher. Without her guidance, wisdom, patience and most importantly, her UNCONDITIONAL love for me in all the stages of my life, I’m not so sure I’d still be here. I love you, Yvonne Sims with all my heart! Today, as we celebrate mothers, let’s also celebrate our ‘OTHER MOTHERS!’”


3. Sims Is Married With 2 Daughters

Sims is a wife, mother and grandmother. She shares daughters Kimili and Khalida with her husband Rufus.

“Yvonne is just a ray of light and anybody who meets her is affected by her,” Berry said in a press release. “I’ve watched her pour not only all of herself into me but she’s poured into other students, her community, her own two beautiful daughters and her husband. There are some people in this world who are just here to give to others and she’s one of those people.”


4. Berry & the Scott Twins Work to Preserve the ‘Historical Charm’ of Sims’ House

Berry and the Scotts partner up to renovate Sims’ 1920s house while still preserving its “historical charm,” HGTV announced.

The trio will “smash countertops, rip out cabinets and tear through walls to create an open flow on the main floor of her dear friend’s home,” according to a press release. They “will incorporate modern yet cozy finishes to surprise Yvonne with a stunning, sophisticated overhaul to her kitchen, dining room and sitting room, which will feature custom storage to keep handwritten notes from her students.”

As Berry says, “It was an absolute dream to be able to do something to express some of my love and appreciation for my mentor and lifeline friend, Yvonne. She is the most special and cherished woman that I’ve been grateful to know for most of my years, and I hope this renovation lets her feel how very much she’s loved.”


5. Berry & Sims Had an Emotional Reveal on ‘Celebrity IOU’

The tears will be flowing when Berry surprises her 71-year-old mentor, Drew and Jonathan teased to People ahead of the season 3 premiere.

“As soon as they cry, we cry,” Drew told the outlet. “We did get tears out of Halle Berry. Actually, we got tears out of Snoop [Dogg], which I was very surprised by.”

He went on to call the celebrities on the show “big teddy bears.”

Jonathan added, “That’s the whole thing that we love about ‘Celebrity IOU.’ It just doesn’t feel like work. It’s having a good time and giving back to people and we cry a lot. Tears of joy.”

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