Moore County's Mariah Morris page

Mariah Morris

Mariah Morris named “Innovation and Special Projects Coordinator”
This is the image for the news article titled Mariah Morris named “Innovation and Special Projects Coordinator”The 2019-2020 Wellcome Burroughs Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Moore County Schools’ Mariah Morris, will take on a new role with the district as its Innovation and Special Projects Coordinator. 

Morris will assume her new position on July 1, 2020, as part of the district’s Academics and Student Support Services division. She was named the North Carolina Teacher of the Year in April 2019 out of nine finalists for the title. At the time she was a second grade teacher at West Pine Elementary School. 

During her tenure as Teacher of the Year, she has led advocacy efforts in the areas of expanding STEM education opportunities to underrepresented students, addressing ballooning class sizes in grades 4 through 12, and on two State Board of Education tasks forces focused on K-12 literacy and how the state assesses school performance. Morris is also enrolled in the Education Policy Fellowship Program through the Public School Forum of North Carolina, where she is studying the particular needs of rural school districts.

“In 2020, the time is now to be bold and innovative in our schools as we prepare our 21st century students for a dynamic, global world,” said Morris. “Moore County Schools is positioned to be a statewide leader of many innovative education initiatives happening across North Carolina. Our district and school leaders, teachers, school communities and school board are a united front in a common mission to educate our students with a relevant, first-rate education.  I am excited to continue my work with Moore County Schools where we ‘engage, inspire and succeed.’” 

Morris will assist with the development of initiatives and professional learning at the district level, evaluating instructional methods and programs and recommending how such methods and programs can be replicated throughout the district. She will collaborate on the professional development necessary for the effective implementation of the intended curriculum and instructional best practices at all schools, as well as manage school improvement process within all schools. She will also assist in supervising the Beginning Teacher and Mentor Support program, as well as programs for teachers seeking initial, advanced and renewal for National Board certification. 

“The experience Ms. Morris has gained over the last year as she has visited districts throughout the state and her interactions at the highest levels of our state government is invaluable for us here in Moore County,” said Moore County Schools Chief Executive Officer of Academics and Student Support Services Dr. Tim Locklair. “We are very fortunate to be able to keep her in the Moore County Schools family and we know she will contribute so much to the development of our teachers and staff and, in turn, have a tremendous positive impact on students throughout Moore County Schools.”

Morris attended the University of North Carolina on a Teaching Fellows scholarship and during her time at Chapel Hill volunteered for a homeless shelter and GED program for high school dropouts.

“It was at UNC where I solidified my calling to help break the cycle of poverty in my community,” she said, “and show children how to dream big to reach their goals.”

After five years of teaching English in high schools in Durham, Wake and Guilford county school districts, Morris said she felt that she wasn’t able to reach the 100 students she saw each day in the way that she had hoped and planned, especially those in need of extra help. She decided she could have a greater impact as an elementary school teacher and began teaching at Aberdeen Primary in 2015 and West Pine Elementary in 2016.

The Innovation and Special Projects Coordinator position was repurposed from an already existing but vacant position at the district level. The Moore County School Board of Education approved Morris’ appointment at its April 16 Regular Business Meeting. 
  • Moore County Schools
  • 5277 Hwy. 15-501 South, Carthage, NC28327
  • 910-947-2976
  • 910-947-3011
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