Jim Morris Earns Devanny Award

Monday, July 13, 2020


Jim Morris is the first of this year's two Devanny Award recipients. Jim arrived at Heathwood Hall in 1996 to create and launch a more robust math and science program in conjunction with the newly constructed Robinson Center for Math and Science. His impact on our science program is significant.

After completing an M.S. in Engineering and Biophysics from West Virginia University, Jim Morris worked in a medical research lab for 2 years before helping a friend found St. Andrews Episcopal School in Maryland.  Jim then worked as a science teacher and an administrator at 3 other independent schools before coming to Heathwood.

In his time here, Jim Morris has taught physics and biology, chaired the science department for 13 years, been the Honors Science Research Program Coordinator for 12 years, and been the manager of the Robinson Center’s Robert Clark Educational Greenhouse. 

Jim Morris’ background in engineering and biophysics, combined with his 20 years of experience as an Outward Bound Instructor, resulted in a prolific career of creating at Heathwood:

  • He’s led student SCUBA trips and organized countless Winterim trips
  • He helped to establish the PEAK program and he managed the John's Island mission project for 11 years
  • He developed a highly functional greenhouse and he is responsible for establishing Biology Buddies.
  • He is also co-founded the SEED initiative and helped to create the Conceptual Physics program and he initiated Heathwood's annual participation in the Junior Academy of Science program
  • Recently, he worked with members of the science club to establish Heathwood’s Adopt-a-Stream Citizen Science Program.

He was the 2007 SCISA Upper School Teacher of the Year and was named 2013 Teacher of the Year by the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. And he has received Champions of the Environment awards and grants from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control three times since 2007.

"The current programmatic excellence at Heathwood, owes a great deal to the diligence, creativity and foresight of Jim Morris," said Head of School Chris Hinchey.