Drew Morris: Teaching regional appreciation
Eighth-grade social studies teacher and coach at Craig Middle School for three years
“I went to school at the University of Wyoming. I came back here intending to teach, but I didn’t intend on coming to Craig to teach, it just kind of worked out that way. My father’s Orlando Frangipani (Craig Middle School teacher David Morris), so I figured I should ask his permission, and he beat me a couple times but then told me that I could accept the job.
The thing I enjoy about social studies is westward expansion and teaching kids how we got to the West and things like Native American culture. The region really lends itself to that. I enjoy hiking and fishing and exploring, and Northwest Colorado is the place to be if you enjoy the outdoors and learning about Colorado history.
I try to do that in school. We bring them out to show them the Meeker Massacre battle site, and they really enjoy that a lot. We also do some community service stuff, and they’re happy to just be out and about. I talk about the outdoors and the geography here and the cool things that are around as much as possible.
If I were going to teach another subject, I’d probably go into anthropology just because I’m interested in the type of thing. I don’t think middle school would really work for that. I’d probably have to go back to school.
I like to cross-country ski. I like ice fishing. So far I haven’t fallen in this year. I do downhill, I do a lot of snowboarding. Just a lot of outdoor stuff. This is my time of year. I like ice fishing, but I’ve been doing more fishing than catching, so far.
I get to take kids cross-country skiing a few times a year. I get the chance to teach an extended studies class at the end of the day for that. I also do a running class, which about 2 percent of the kids do. ‘Run? Why would you want to do that?’
I coach seventh-grade basketball and track and field. Track and field is a lot of fun because it’s a good time to watch the kids get better and determine what they’re good at. We’ll be starting back up again with that again in about a month, get track rolling. There’s a couple kids that want to break the mile record, so we’ll see if we can get them in good enough shape to run four laps around the track.
I feel like I’m in a good position in life. I like my job and the people I work with. I’m just having fun, enjoying where I’m at, trying to stay under the radar. I’m always teaching, coaching or on a lake somewhere, freezing.”
— Interview by Andy Bockelman