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2010 Teacher of the Year – Mary Jane Morris

President Obama and Mary Jane Morris

 

Ms. Morris is a 7th and 8th grade reading teacher and the AVID site coordinator at Northwest Middle School in the Salt Lake City School District. She has been a teacher for 33 years, the last 14 at Northwest Middle, a school whose population is two-thirds Hispanic and 95 percent free and reduced-price lunch eligible.

For those of you not familiar with AVID, it is the acronym for Advancement via Individual Determination. It is a college-readiness program aimed at increasing the number of students who are college-ready upon graduation.

"Few people can measure up to Mary Jane," wrote her former principal, Rosemary Baron. "As a principal who had the fortune of working with her, I would only hope that all teachers in our public education profession had her love for teaching and learning, determination to help students succeed and desire to learn new ways of helping students in their achievement."

One of her former students, Jose Hernandez, took the time to write to Ms. Morris when he graduated from West High School in 2007. Who wouldn’t want to receive a note like this? "Words could not express my gratitude," he wrote. "You have given me the strength and determination to keep on going in my education. … You gave me the key to open the door of knowledge; you gave me the spark that started the flame of education. Thank you for articulating my think, never giving up on me and, most importantly, always believing in me."

Links

National and Utah Teacher of the Year Sponsors

National Teacher of the Year Banquet, Dallas Texas, January 2010

National Teacher of the Year President Recognition, Washington D.C., April 2010

Utah District Teachers of the Year, Pictures of Banquet