Lift Where You Stand—Joan Morris (’80)

Joan Morris has used her early childhood education training in many ways outside the classroom.

Most soon-to-be McKay School graduates dream of a future utilizing what they’ve learned in a classroom, teaching and inspiring the next generation. For alumna Joan Morris, her dream was a little different. 
 
Joan MorrisWhen Morris graduated from the McKay School in 1980, she was expecting her first child. She jumped right into motherhood, using what she learned in the early childhood education program to raise her four children in Idaho. She was actively involved in her children’s education, volunteering in classrooms, organizing fundraisers, substitute teaching, and much more. 
 
“I feel that I have applied that knowledge [from the McKay School] in helping, supporting, and encouraging them to pursue their educational goals,” said Morris. 
 
In 1988, Morris assisted in the production of a video called Read to Me. 
 
“[The video] was distributed to schools and hospitals throughout Idaho for new moms to view . . . encouraging reading to young children,” Morris explained. “Later that year, our committee was given a Governor’s Award for helping to promote literacy in the state of Idaho.” 
 
Currently Morris serves as the director of the Mountain Region Alumni chapters on the BYU Alumni Board. She oversees the nine alumni chapters in the mountain region, which involves helping the chapters plan events and activities. She also provides training at the yearly chapter training conference that is held every October during Homecoming weekend. 
 
Morris attributes her success on the Alumni Board to her experiences from the McKay School. The confidence she gained planning and carrying out lesson plans has been beneficial as she works with the Alumni Board, her family, and the Church.
 
“I feel I gained great leadership and planning skills in the McKay School. I learned how to positively try to influence good behavior in students as well as others,” Morris shared.
 
To the future teachers of the world, Morris echoes the words of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf to “lift where you stand” and make a difference in your own unique way.” 
 
“I know that a good teacher can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child . . .[by] helping them see their potential and the difference they could make.” 

Writer: Lauren Hansen

Contact: Shauna Valentine (801) 422-8562