Heathwood Upper School Science Department Chair Jim Morris has been named 2017 South Carolina Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Teacher of the Year. Mr. Morris was honored for the many years he has mentored Heathwood students who are undertaking original scientific research and presenting it at the SC JSHS, which is held at the University of South Carolina each January. He is one of three teachers statewide to receive Teacher of the Year honors from the SC JSHS.
The award is richly deserved, says Upper School Head George Scouten. “Jim Morris is one of our former SCISA Teachers of the Year, so his expertise as an educator has long been recognized. In the case of this particular award, however, I cannot imagine that there is any educator in the state who has been more instrumental in giving young people the opportunity to do independent scientific research and then present that research in front of a broad audience of scientists and lay people.”
Head of School Chris Hinchey says the award speaks to Mr. Morris's gifts as a teacher and his longtime dedication to science education. "Jim Morris is an exceptional teacher and a dedicated school person, and I am pleased to see his transformative work being recognized by esteemed and professional educators. While this award clearly recognizes his amazing service and instruction to our science students completing research in our Honors Science Research Program, Jim has also distinguished himself through various contributions to our program: significant organizational and logistical work on our senior capstone service learning project, consistent and noteworthy participation during our experiential learning week in March, and founding of the Sustainability, Environment and Science Education (SEED) program.”
Sponsored by the US Department of Defense, the JSHS promotes original research and experimentation at the high school level. Through a series of regional and national conferences, the JSHS provides opportunities for students to present their own work, gain exposure to original research being conducted by others, and connect with peers and working professionals in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering. Students presenting at regional meetings may be invited to attend the national symposium. Heathwood Junior Athreya Murali is one of five students who were selected to represent South Carolina at this year’s national JSHS in San Diego.