Morris meets with principals in first day as superintendent

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Anthony Morris sat in front of a large bookcase which spans the wall behind him. He had the Mississippi code behind him, a computer, many books and plaques and a nameplate affirming his new status &045; Dr. Anthony Morris, superintendent.

But along the other wall were stacks and stacks of boxes and pictures just waiting to be hung on the walls, a sign of the other certainty in the Natchez-Adams County School Board administration building &045; a new beginning.

He officially started his job Tuesday.

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Morris came to Adams County from Batesville, where he was born and raised. In fact, he spent most of his life in Batesville, a small stretch of road from Oxford. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi, as well as his Ph.D.

Morris started his career as an educator as a math teacher in 1985 at Batesville Junior High. From there, he moved on to teach at South Panola High School, still in math but also assuming the role as assistant principal.

From that two-year post, Morris moved to be an assistant principal at Starksville High School about two hours from Batesville.

In 1994, Morris made his first appearance in Natchez when he served three years as principal of Natchez High School.

In October 1997, he returned to Batesville as director of personnel at South Panola School District.

Morris not only brings 19 years experience as an educator to Natchez but also a family &045; his wife and two children. All of the Morrises will be in school come the fall because his wife will be the librarian at the alternative school, his youngest son Emmanuel will start kindergarten and the oldest, Sterling, will be in the third grade.

After one year as interim superintendent, Morris takes over for Assistant Superintendent Mary Kate Garvin.

&uot;I officially turned the gavel over to him this morning,&uot; Garvin said. &uot;I think Dr. Morris is going to add an aspect of education to the school district that is needed.&uot;

Garvin said she feels comfortable with Morris as superintendent.

&uot;He wants the best for our children like I do,&uot; she said.

Now on his return trip to Natchez, Morris already has made some decisions in the school district, although his official duties did start July 1.

He has sat in on budget briefings and sat in on the hiring of the new Natchez High School principal, James Loftin.

Also, Morris has sessions in June to meet the departments before started work.

&uot;That really gave me a nice sneak preview of what was going on,&uot; Morris said.

One new administrator, the new principal at McLaurin Elementary School, is one decision he takes stake in.

&uot;The only one I can claim is the new principal at McLaurin Elementary (Karen Tutor),&uot; Morris said. &uot;It just worked out that she would be a nice addition to the school system.&uot;

Morris started his first day on the job with a staff meeting of every at the central office.

&uot;I just gave them an introduction and talked about the expectations for the office,&uot; Morris said.

Then, he visited all the new school administrators, who also started work Tuesday.

&uot;I wanted to touch base with them and wish them well and talk about any needs they have for the new school year,&uot; he said.

Morris had established relationships with many in the school system before and is exciting about working the Natchez-Adams County School District again.

To start off the year, July 22 and 23, Morris will host a retreat for the new administration at the Natchez State Park.

&uot;It will give us an opportunity to set up our agenda for the school year,&uot; Morris said.

And he already has goals in mind for this school year and his time in the school district.

&uot;I want us to be known for having a curriculum in place to help our students to survive in a global society,&uot; he said.