Morris greets teachers at annual school convocation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; It is full speed ahead as the Natchez-Adams School District prepared for the beginning of school with its annual convocation ceremony Monday morning at the Steckler Multi-Purpose Building.

Standing under the veil of &uot;No Child Left Behind,&uot; the capacity crowd was introduced to the new superintendent and speaker for the morning, Anthony Morris.

Joined by district department heads and school board members, Morris sat on a platform with a good view of the entire staff of the district of which he has now taken the helm. Each principal, new and experienced, introduced new staff members at their respective schools and recognized their faculty as well.

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These new teachers were not the only ones to get an introduction Monday. School Board President Norris Edney introduced a man he said is ready to stand up and take the challenge of heading the Natchez-Adams School District. Edney called him a man who is &uot;very humble,&uot; &uot;very, very focused on the goals of the system&uot; and &uot;tenacious about getting the job done.&uot;

And once Morris was formally introduced and the new teachers were recognized, Morris spoke to the captive audience, likening the present state of educators to a traffic light, a sight everyone is familiar with.

The speech, described by Frazier Primary first grade teacher Kim James as &uot;great&uot; and by Natchez High School art and photography teacher Joseph Johnson as containing a &uot;lot of substance,&uot; began with a description of what each color on the light represents.

Morris proceeded with red first, the least desirable color for educators to be &uot;stuck on.&uot;

Morris warned educators get stuck on red sometimes, for various reasons like a stalled car. But as professionals, he said, sometimes all people need is the right training (gasoline) to get them going.

Morris warned that teachers &uot;do not need to have the attitude, I cannot change and I will not change.&uot;

He said continuing to be stuck on red, educators should be charged with a DUIC &045; doing unnecessary injustice to children.

People stuck on yellow were compared to a plane stuck in a holding pattern.

These are people that cannot decide which way to go and go with &uot;whichever way the wind blows strongest.&uot;

&uot;The resources lie with in you to return to green,&uot; Morris told the teachers. &uot;Remember &045; If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.&uot;

But green is where everyone should strive to be &045; going when it it safe to do so.

He encouraged the audience to be committed to educating the children, to investing in children in light of the recent downturn in economic conditions.

Morris spoke of wanting to &uot;create a shared vision&uot; for the district. And he ended the 2003 convocation with a story.

He encouraged the teachers to be like geese. &uot;If we have the sense of a gooseŠ&uot; then those in the district would fly as a flock, lift each other up, take turns completing hard jobs and stand by each other as geese do when flying south for the winter, with their flock, in their V formation.

If Morris’ intention of the speech was to motivate and talk about show what kind of leader he is, James was convinced, saying the speech, &uot;shows the leadership this district needs.&uot;