Carson teacher of year: ‘Be a lifelong learner’ |

Carson teacher of year: ‘Be a lifelong learner’

Heather Swanson
For the Nevada Appeal
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Empire Elementary School teacher LeAnn Morris works with Mario Montez, 10, on May 18. Morris was named Carson City's Teacher of the Year.

For Carson City’s Teacher of the Year, one of the most important parts of her jobs is teaching herself.

LeAnn Morris, a technology teacher at Empire Elementary School, says that staying abreast of new developments in her field is one of the central responsibilities of the job.

“My own professional growth is always very important,” Morris said. Professional development is a key part of the job for any teacher, she notes, especially in her own field, given technology advances at a rapid rate.

“It’s very difficult to stay on top of and I think that’s what I find challenging about it,” she said. “It’s impossible but it’s fun to try.”

“That’s what I try to instill in the kids – be a lifelong learner.”

Empire Elementary School Principal Pat Carpenter said Morris’ emphasis on professional development sets her apart, but says Morris also works hard to assist the other teachers in staying abreast of technology.

“She’s always looking to improve in how she can help and support what the teachers are doing in their classrooms,” Carpenter said. “She also keeps the rest of the school running as far as technology goes.”

Morris was selected to be Empire Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year by her peers and then went on to be chosen Carson City Teacher of the Year by a district committee. She will compete at the state level this fall and if successful, be considered for national Teacher of the Year.

Morris says she is “humbled” by the honor. “There certainly are many, many other teachers in the district that are just as deserving as I or more so.”

Morris has been teaching technology at Empire Elementary School for five years.

She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wyoming in her hometown of Laramie, Wyo., in 1990. She went on to receive her master’s in education with an emphasis in educational technology in 1995 from Lesley University’s Reno program.

She began her career at Carson City’s Corbett Elementary School, now the home to Pioneer and Opportunity high schools, where she taught first grade for two years. After that she taught first grade for another two years at Mark Twain Elementary School.

After acquiring her master’s degree, Morris began teaching technology at Fritsch Elementary and Carson High before moving to Empire Elementary in 2002.

Her husband, Craig, works at Harley-Davidson Financial Services. They have a 3-year-old son, Andrew.


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