Morris Inspires Students to Love Math

Acclaimed Century teacher awarded Simplot Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award

April+25+saw+the+Simplot+Inspirational+Teacher+of+the+Year+Award+given+to+Mr.+Joe+Morris+during+a+ceremony+at+Highland+High+School.+
April 25 saw the Simplot Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award given to Mr. Joe Morris during a ceremony at Highland High School.

April 25 saw the Simplot Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award given to Mr. Joe Morris during a ceremony at Highland High School.

Angela Davis

Angela Davis

April 25 saw the Simplot Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award given to Mr. Joe Morris during a ceremony at Highland High School.

Kris DeRouen, Online Editor

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When a Diamondback alumni is asked about their favorite teacher, many of them reply with the same name. Even the generation before us, our parents, remember this teacher from Pocatello High School, where he taught for fourteen years before being hired as the first teacher at the new Century High School. His name? Joe Morris.

Morris’ 32 years of dedication, effort, and mustached-math skills were recognized on April 25 at a ceremony at Highland High School, where he was awarded the title of Simplot’s Inspirational Teacher of the Year for 2017. About 20 nominating essays were submitted on Morris’ behalf, including two from appreciative parents.

“It’s very humbling,” said Morris, who has been a finalist two other times in his career for the award. “It’s awesome that kids would take the time,” he said, to show their appreciation.

Morris also expressed appreciation for the organization who awarded the title. “It’s cool that Simplot takes the time for educators,” Morris said.

Education, for the Morris family, has been a sort of “family business”.

“I watched my parents, and they had a sense of productivity and a sense of the significant impact you can have,” Morris said, describing his mother who taught elementary school and his father, a professor.

The family business continued into their children; Joe Morris and two of his three siblings are all educators. His own family has carried the tradition into the next generation with Century teachers Ryan Smith and Scott Eldredge, Morris’ stepsons. 

“It’s a nice life,” Morris said, “and at the end I get to say I made a difference. What I do is impactful.”

Morris expressed pride in his work and his math students, approximately 60 of whom took the AP Calculus AB exam on May 9.

“To be a teacher, you have to have passion for whatever you’re doing,” Morris said.

Another historically passionate Diamondback is history teacher Kris Boatman, who was also nominated for the award and made it to the rank of Finalist. He was honored as well at the ceremony on April 25.

“It was nice to hear I’m doing something right,” Boatman said. “For some students [who submitted essays], it was really surprising. I didn’t realize I was making that big of a difference.”

According to Boatman, Simplot has been conducting this program for approximately 24 years to honor and “give recognition to teachers and the work they do.”

 

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Morris Inspires Students to Love Math