We are wrapping up our Teacher Tuesday profiles for the year with a very special farewell to our second grade teacher, Sandy Morris. Sandy retired yesterday after over 30 years in education. We sat down with Sandy last week and asked her a few extra questions in honor of her retirement.
Tell us a little bit about your educational history. I know you taught overseas for some time; can you tell us more about that? I taught for four years in Nigeria, at an American international School. It was comprised of 32 different countries of children, from preschool to 9th grade. It was just such an amazing experience.
Where did you teach when you came back to the states? How many years have you been at Crescent Heights? I taught at Roosevelt Elementary for 15 years before I went to Nigeria. When I came back, I came to Crescent Heights. I have been teaching here for 12 years.
What are a couple of educational highlights from your career? I hear you may have been an advocate in Washington DC? What did you advocate for? It was 1998 when Bill Clinton was President, and he had an initiative to reduce class size. I went to Washington DC to help disseminate a 30-year study about the benefits of class size reduction in K – 2nd grades. I was a lobbyist for the cabinet in Tacoma, and I went to the Olympia Senate budget committee to plead for money. Unfortunately, the initiative wasn’t implemented the way it was supposed to be – it was only for one year.
Tell us a bit about your family. We hear you have something pretty special to look forward to in your retirement! I have one daughter, Ellie. She was a Kindergarten teacher, and then she met her husband, Michael Greller, who was also a teacher. He left his teaching job to be a caddy for Jordan Spieth in the PGA! Ellie and Michael are expecting their first child in October.
Do you have any pets you’d like to tell us about? Bootsy and Paulie are my kitties.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do outside of work? Anything in nature, reading and gardening.
What is one of your fondest memories of being a teacher at Crescent Heights? Several years ago when I taught first grade, one of my students came up to me and tugged on my sleeve. She said, “I have a question!” I said, “Yes, what’s your question?” She said, “Do you work?” And I said, “Yes….??” And she replied with “Well, where do you work?” I got a good laugh out of that.
Your retirement is finally here. What’s up first on your agenda? Relaxation, traveling, gardening? What are you looking forward to? I am looking forward to a trip somewhere to follow my daughter and son-in-law, somewhere in the golf world.
Any last words for the families that you’ve touched over the years? I have met some extraordinary families. I’ve gotten to teach all of their children. It’s been a fabulous goal with all of the parent support and appreciation that they’ve had for their teachers. I’ve never seen anything like it, in all of my years of teaching. This job is what I was meant to do.
Sandy, we can’t tell you how much you have meant to the parents and children of Crescent Heights. Your quiet, firm, yet kind demeanor has been such a part of the fabric of our school. Thank you for your countless contributions to education and children, from lobbying in DC to comforting a student that’s had a hard day. You really are our Wonder Woman! You are one of the best, and you will be missed! Enjoy every moment of your retirement.