Admiring the two pictures on his desk of his family, Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison remembers where he came from. His plans consisted of becoming a lawyer, but he decided, in order to pay for law school, he would teach a couple years in high school. However, his passion stayed with teaching education; therefore, he never returned to law school. Since then, he climbed up the ladder from the classroom to an assistant principal and then a superintendent.
Morrison is the new superintendent for MISD, and his focus is on the safety of the students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wanted a different experience, so when this opportunity came up, it felt like a really amazing fit,” Morrison said. “It was an opportunity I really gravitated to, and I was very honored to be selected.”
Former Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, Morrison was selected among 45 other applications for the position.
“The way I see a district is students in the center, with the teachers being in a circle around them,” Morrison said. “The final circle is your support staff, which is your bus drivers, your custodians and even your principals and superintendents; we all support the work teachers and students do for our district.”
Not only is his focus on the safety of students and staff, but also on balancing the $1.7 million budget deficit.
At the beginning of his career, he taught social studies for middle school and then moved to high school in Waldorf, Md., and progressed into administration on a required opportunity. He was also the principal of John Hanson Middle School and Thomas Stone High School.
“The principal approached me about being an assistant principal,” Morrison said. “I denied the offer at first and wanted to keep teaching, but after three attempts, the principal made it a required opportunity.”
He was Superintendent at Community Superintendent in Montgomery County, Maryland, Superintendent of Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada, and Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina. All of these districts are much larger than MISD.
“It’s not how large a school district is, it’s how large the commitment is to serving every single student,” Morrison said.
On top of being a Superintendent, Morrison worked for McGraw-Hill, as Senior Vice-President of Government Affairs
“I feel like I kept being drawn to Texas,” Morrison said, “The more I thought about it the more I wanted to stay. I wanted a different experience and I tried to challenge myself. It is a different school district than I have been at before.”
Morrison has two kids and a foster daughter who he had taught in school. He keeps two pictures on his desk of his family.
“My foster daughter was actually one of my students when I was teaching social studies,” Morrison said. “She was a phenomenal student, but her mother had breast cancer and passed away, so we decided to take her in. She has been a blessing.”
Morrison has been married to his high school sweetheart, Jennifer Morrison. She is working on getting her doctoral degree in education at University of Nevada-Reno.
“We just celebrated our 30-year anniversary last week,” Morrison said. “ We actually dated for a few years before getting married.”
Outside of school, he spends time with his family by going on trips and participates in community activities such as YMCA and Children’s Cabinet.
“Growing up I wasn’t able to go on trips with my family. Before Covid, I would try and make it a priority to go out and spend time with my kids and my wif,.” Morrison said. “I am so glad I am married to my best friend, as well as having three lovely kids.”