Rewarding Success

Ms. Morrow catalogues her best moments while teaching, and how she got to where she is today


Bryce Cash

Ms. Morrow engages with siblings Sidney and Taylor Marshall during a collaborative learning time. Connecting with students has built up the positive repertoire Ms. Morrow now holds.

It’s fifth hour, and a student is struggling to complete a problem in their math packet in front of them, specifically number 19. They’re asking their peers around them for help on the question, but all they receive is the answer, but not the pathway to solving it. After continually trying themselves to do the right work, they eventually ask for the help of their teacher, Ms. Morrow. After getting around to other students who have had questions, she finally reaches the student who is stuck on the question. She gently reaches over the desk to look at the problem, and asks the student what part they were stuck on. After some long communication between the two, the student eventually solved the problem.

The behavior mentioned above is why math educator and department chair Ms. Trisha Morrow was nominated and the winner of the highly sought-after “Teacher of the Year” for 2022. Teacher of the Year is awarded to one faculty member at FHC each year for their outstanding work inside and outside the classroom.

“I consider myself a humble person. And I am not someone that does anything in my life for recognition,” Morrow said. “But it’s just such an honor [to be teacher of the year].”

Ms. Morrow has been a math educator for 18 years, all of which have been spent at Central. She has taught geometry for her whole teaching career, and in the past couple of years, has taught pre-calculus. However, being an educator wasn’t her original career choice, and she ended up changing her major during her junior year of college. She was going to school to be an actuary, which is a career-oriented to analyze mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to evaluate risk and uncertainty in the financial industry.

“I actually wasn’t originally going to be a teacher,” Morrow said. “But I realized that I wanted to work with people, and the career that I was going to do wasn’t going to be very people-oriented… so I had decided that I would change my major at that point and decided to become a high school math teacher.”

The change Ms. Morrow made from a career involving advanced mathematics, to one revolving around helping people better understand math and applying it, was a large jump she made in college. However, she made clear that her motives didn’t include money, or recognition. Instead, she wanted to see people succeed.

“I like to help people,” Morrow said. “That’s just my nature of wanting people to succeed and wanting to help people through something. And since I’m good at math, I chose that one.”

Ms. Morrow has so far exceeded her original goals of helping people, and there is a unanimous liking that her students hold for her. Junior Ella Borgmeyer gave some insight into why students connect with the math educator so much.

Students Tanner Jones and Ian Johnson pay close attention to the directions their pre-calculus teacher gives them. It takes work from both the student and the educator to get a point across and understood. (Bryce Cash)

“I think everyone likes her as a teacher and thinks she is very helpful,” Borgmeyer said. “She’s always willing to help when you need help, and she’s very understanding about things that [might happen] to come up.”

Ella is in one of Ms. Morrow’s pre-calculus classes, which is an advanced math course, taken before a student goes on to calculus. And while Morrow expresses love for all courses relating to mathematics, she has a soft spot for her pre-calculus classes.

“Pre-calculus is fun because I get older kids in there. So that maturity level is up there, plus, because it’s an honors course… I get more students that like learning and want to be at school,” Morrow said.

Even with her positive attitude and intentions to help others, Ms. Morrow has had her fair share of difficult situations. One of her most memorable ones occurred 16 years ago when she was a new educator.

“I was pregnant with my now 16-year-olds, [and] I was a newer teacher. I had a lot of the lower-level math students and we had a pre-algebra class. It was called Intro to algebra,” Morrow said. “I had to randomly [go to] the hospital, but it was actually not a pregnancy complication. It was actually kidney stones and I was hospitalized for several days. Long story, but I remember that my freshmen that were in this lower level class that was a high maintenance class. It was challenging for me, and challenging for substitutes.” 

Ms. Morrow makes her way over to a student who raised their hand. Ms. Morrow gives help based on a first-come-first-served style; she makes her rounds to her students by whoever raised their hand first. This decision makes sure she is fair to those who were waiting longer than others, and gets to them quickly. (Bryce Cash)

Ms. Morrow went more into depth as to how it made her feel as an educator, as she believed that her students at the time didn’t care about her, or the struggles she was going into. She had a firm belief that the classroom was in shambles, and the students had erupted into chaos. She was, however, proven to be wrong when she had returned back to work after her hospitalization.

“[My students] got a humongous piece of paper from the library and they made a huge banner for me. And all of them signed it like a get well kind of banner and stuff like that. They all wrote me cards and I remember coming back thinking, here I am, this young teacher with these somewhat unruly kids. And [just knowing] they cared enough about me to want me to get better and to make this big banner? It was just kind of like, just such a cool feeling for me, because I obviously make some kind of impact on them,” Morrow said.

Ms. Morrow has made it clear through her actions that no matter what happens to her outside of school, she wants people to be their best selves. Spartan nation is extremely grateful for her work, and are excited for what she has to offer in the future.