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Tom Morgan named Vice Principal at Douglas HIgh

by Merrie Leininger

Filling a hole in the Douglas High School administration, Tom Morgan hopes to involve the parents and staff more in the day-to-day workings of the school.

Four days into the new school year, Morgan was taken out of his 8th grade classroom at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School to start his new job as DHS vice principal, replacing John Carlson, now vice principal of Carson Valley Middle School. Morgan joins Principal Bev Jeans and Vice Principal Susan Baldwin.

Morgan has been with the district for 11 years, but he started working as an aide, not a teacher.

“I got married and we decided to live where the water is clear and the air is clean,” Morgan said.

Morgan and his new family, wife, Lea, and sons Sean Dodge, now a 12th grader, and Ian Dodge, a 10th grader, moved from Walnut, Calif., to the Valley in 1987. They live in the Ranchos with their sons and daughter Linda, a 5th grader at C.C. Meneley Elementary School.

While waiting for a teaching position to open, Morgan worked at the front desk of the Carson Valley Inn and as a special education aide.

He’s taught history, geography, photography and student leadership at PWLMS and CVMS since then, but about five years ago, he said he started looking at administration.

“I started to feel like I had achieved all the goals I had set for myself in the classroom. I think it is important to set new goals and I felt I could do good things for kids on a bigger scale in administration,” Morgan said.

After getting his masters degree in education leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno, he applied for the position of vice principal, even though it was very close to the opening of school. Once he was given the position, things didn’t start slowly for him.

“This job is really go, go, go. My first day, I didn’t eat lunch until 4:30, but I didn’t even miss it,” he said.

Morgan said he is still feeling out what his position entails, but said he is in charge of discipline for 10th graders.

“I see my responsibilities for three main populations: the students, the teachers and the parents,” Morgan said. “The teachers have to have an environment they can teach in. The students have to have a safe environment they can learn in, and I have to establish communication with parents so if they have any concerns or questions, they feel they can call the school and get answers quickly.”

While he is still getting to know staff members, he said he knows about 25 percent of the students who passed through his classroom at PWLMS.

“I knew them personally, so I don’t have to get to know them, which is a nice plus. Some of them have given me very warm greetings,” Morgan said. “I knew less than five of the staff, which is very hard for me because I’m not good with names, so I will be working hard on that.”

Morgan said one of his goals this year is to “communicate with the community about the really good academic programs we have at the high school.”