St. Mary’s School teacher named Golden Ap­ple re­cip­i­ent

Arch­dio­cese to present award May 11

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

When Tri­cia Mor­ri­son, first grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in Bryan­town, walked into the au­di­to­rium, she thought she was on her way to a meet­ing.

The last thing she ex­pected was to be greeted with a hail of inflatable beach balls, as stu­dents, staff and fam­ily mem­bers of­fered sur­prise con­grat­u­la­tions on her be­ing se­lected for the Arch­dio­cese of Washington’s Golden Ap­ple Award.

“I was shocked. I thought we were on our way to a meet­ing, and so I was re­ally fo­cused on that meet­ing, and wow,” Mor­ri­son said. “I was re­ally sur­prised. They got me good.”

The Golden Ap­ple Awards were created by

the non­profit Don­ahue Fam­ily Foun­da­tion to rec­og­nize ex­cel­lence in Catholic ed­u­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Arch­bishop of Washington’s blog.

Ten Golden Ap­ple Awards are given out each year in the arch­dio­cese, which in­cludes 96 Catholic schools.

St. Mary’s School has had seven Golden Ap­ple awardees in the past eight years, ac­cord­ing to school of­fi­cials.

Re­cip­i­ents must be prac­tic­ing Catholics and full-time teach­ers who have com­pleted a min­i­mum of three years teach­ing at their school.

This year’s re­cip­i­ents will be hon­ored at a re­cep­tion and awards cer­e­mony May 11 in Washington, D.C. Each re­cip­i­ent will re­ceive an award and a $5,000 check, said Laura Roland, di­rec­tor of cur­ricu­lum and in­struc­tion for the Arch­dio­cese of Washington.

Phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher Betsy Cu­sic served as chair of the nom­i­na­tion com­mit­tee that se­lected Mor­ri­son.

“Ms. Mor­ri­son is a widely ex­u­ber­ant per­son in gen­eral, and she brings that to the class­room. She makes any les­son that she teaches ex­cit­ing and in­ter­est­ing and all of her stu­dents are ac­tively in­volved,” Cu­sic said. “Her stu­dents leave top notch pre­pared for sec­ond grade.”

Mor­ri­son’s par­ents, Jim and Donna Rahill of Philadel­phia, were also in at­ten­dance to the sur­prise of Mor­ri­son.

“We’re ex­tremely proud of her,” Jim Rahill said. “She strug­gled very hard to get where she is, to get her mas­ter’s de­gree.”

Donna Rahill said her daugh­ter has had an in­ter­est in ed­u­ca­tion from a very young age.

“This is what she loves do­ing,” Donna Rahill said.

Mor­ri­son, a res­i­dent of St. Mary’s County, said she taught in St. Mary’s County Public Schools be­fore com­ing to St. Mary’s School in 2011 as an art teacher.

“This school is like a fam­ily. It’s great, and that they thought so highly of me as to nom­i­nate me for this award is an honor. I was re­ally sur­prised,” she said.

Mor­ri­son said she is happy to be teach­ing in a parochial school like St. Mary’s School.

“We get to talk about God. We get to talk about Je­sus,” she said. “We can teach the chil­dren about how we should strive to be like Him, and how we should be, and how we should act, and I can’t imag­ine not be­ing able to ref­er­ence that on a daily ba­sis. We can live His good news ev­ery day.”

Mor­ri­son said one of the best as­pects of be­ing a first grade teacher is help­ing to mold young minds and see­ing her former stu­dents grow and learn dur­ing their time at the school.

“I re­ally get to know ev­ery Ed­i­tor Rob Perry 240-561-1622 rperry@somd­news.com

Man­ag­ing ed­i­tor Sara New­man 240-561-0854 snew­man@somd­news.com

Busi­ness ed­i­tor Dar­win Weigel 240-561-0327 dweigel@somd­news.com

En­ter­tain­ment Me­gan John­son 301-764-2866 msjohn­son@somd­news.com

Sports Paul Wat­son 301-764-2861 pwat­son@somd­news.com

County govern­ment Michael Sykes 301-848-0625 msykes@somd­news.com sin­gle one of my kids, and I love that I get to see them in the hall­ways, see them on the play­ground, and I will see them un­til they fin­ish eighth grade and they leave,” she said. “I love watch­ing my kids dis­cover some­thing in math that maybe they hadn’t fig­ured out be­fore. I get to watch them grow. I get to lit­er­ally watch hu­man be­ings grow and be a part of that and that’s fan­tas­tic.”

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Tri­cia Mor­ri­son, a first-grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in Bryan­town, was named a 2016 Golden Ap­ple Award re­cip­i­ent by the Arch­dio­cese of Washington.

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