All The Reasons We’re The Best


Written by Jazmyn Sherman |
Photos by Jazmyn Sherman and Olivia Bulgini |

The Morgan School has seen hundreds of kids flourish, going from scared freshman to young adults riddled with senioritis. But what happens after they get that diploma? The PawPrint met up with some Morgan alumni to talk to them about their experiences and to see what makes our school so special.

Baylen Shanley class of 2016
Baylen Shanley class of 2016

Surely each person had a different experience at Morgan, middle school science teacher Charlene Best said, “I went to Morgan between 1976 and 1980. At that time, there were a couple things that stand out in my mind. People smoked. Academically it was a time that more and more people were challenging status quo. More and more girls were going to college. I had every intention of going to college as well. Socially there was a smoking courtyard, and that’s where half the people hung out. I think the idea of if you liked roll and roll or disco was probably the biggest social divide that anyone had to deal with. I loved it. I love Morgan, and I really enjoyed my time there.” Baylen Shanley, a 2016 grad said something similar stating that his time at Morgan was “lit” and that each year got better.

Dereck Yatzook
Dereck Yatzook and his family                                   (Photo by Olivia Bulgini)

We’ve received a lot of changes over the years, and Dereck Yatzook a class of ‘99 graduate joked, “I’ve realized that none of the students at Morgan were born when I graduated so that’s a change.” But all joking aside, Mr. Yatzook said this, “Aside from thinking of Morgan has the here and now and when am I going to move on with my life. I think of it as the future and what’s it going to be like for my children.” When asked Ms. Best also joked that there’s obviously no longer a smoking courtyard! But she felt there are far more opportunities for kids and a greater push to find and do what makes them happy. And of course there is the new building.

Like a lot of other districts we have pride for our school, but what actually makes us different? Ms. Best said, “I think the commitment of both the faculty and students to really bring out the best and help students bring out their potential is what separates us from other districts. I think we have a community of teachers and support staff that really want to help young people to be productive citizens.” Science teacher Colleen Whittel said, “We have a huge sense of community.” So there you have it. Morgan is the best because we are surrounded by staff and students who truly care about us. But Mr. Yatzook’s comment sums up who we are and why we are special, perfectly. “At Morgan both my sister and I experienced one of the most tragic things possible for a young person, which is the loss of a parent. The attention and care that was shown by the faculty I’m certain, at the bottom of my heart, is unmatched by any other school.”  

Having years of experience outside of our walls each alumnus gave a piece of advice for those of us getting ready to face the “real world.” 1.) Don’t be late 2.) If possible get an affordable education because student loans will haunt you for forever. 3.) Be a life-long learner. 4.) Have fun and 5.) Always remember this: We are Morgan. We are family.

If you would like to catch up with more alum, check out Gabby and Abby’s interviews with  Isabella Pitarra and Mike Baker on college and life after Morgan.