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Morris Creates Unique Atmosphere In Classroom
Emily with her dogs Lola and Jersey
Gone are the days of a stern looking teacher standing in front of a room full of students all sitting at desks taking notes and keeping their noses in their books, and this is definitely evident in Laura Morris’s second grade classroom at Pinnacle Classical Academy. Headmaster Danielle Robertson marvels, “Watching her classroom is almost a magical experience - she creates a natural environment for learning that children thrive in. She does everything with a smile and a song. Kids think they aren’t having to work harder and they’re doing it. Learning is going on all day long and I don’t ever see children that aren’t on task.” Morris says it is less of her and more of the students that bring the “magic” to her classroom. “If you are in tune with your students and are engaging them, then of course the classroom is going to be exciting”.
 Mrs. Morris says her daily inspiration comes from a photo that sits behind her table in the classroom of her grandfather who was a principal. Along with that photo is a list of lessons learned from him that one of the teachers at his school wrote for his funeral, and one of the things on that list is to “Expect every child to succeed”. “I have very high expectations and I expect every single one of them to be successful and I know that each child will succeed and meet or exceed my expectations for them”. Morris has been teaching for three years and to help her students meet her high expectations she says she simply  thinks about why she would get bored in class and tries to do the opposite.  Simple things make a big difference for all kids, like having music with lessons, or having a read along on the carpet and when their minds start to wander we do this thing called scramble  where everyone jumps up and finds a different spot. Robertson says Morris uses any and all tools to inspire a love for learning. Morris agrees, “I love learning, I love teaching and I love each one of my students”. That shows when she attends events that she is invited to by her students, such as when she went to see one of the kids in a golf tournament, and another in a cheer leading competition. “She shows how much she loves her students  by doing everything possible to make sure that each student reaches their full potential inside and out of the classroom. She makes sure that parents are involved and welcomes family involvement and input in the classroom. I can’t say enough  how much I appreciate her assistance with helping Emily this year, and you can tell she truly cares about all of her students  ” says student Emily Trammel’s mother, Tammy. Headmaster Robertson adds that just watching her with her students you can tell that she takes personal stock in each and every one, she has a passion for what she is doing and she instills that passion in each and every one of her students. Some people are born to teach - she has that natural gift that encourages children. We are very lucky to have her.”
Morris is more than just a teacher. She likes running, being in nature, and spending time with family. She also runs a part time photography business called Laura Brittain Photography. In her spare time, she plays guitar, is working on learning to play the mandolin, and says that she and her husband love bluegrass music. One thing that most people may not know about her is that she honeymooned in a treehouse in Oregon (at a resort). Although not a Cleveland County native, she is familiar with our area and was born in Conover, but grew up in Huntersville. She now lives in Shelby with her husband, Jeremy Morris, who is an associate pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, and their two dogs Blake and Colby.
For more information about the school, visit the website at www.pinnacleclassicalacademy.com or call the school at 704.740.4040.
For more information about Laura’s photography business visit the website www.laurabrittainphotography.com or you can find her business on Facebook.

Emily Is An Inspiration To All
The first thing that you notice about 7 year old Emily is her Goldilocks-like curly hair and her impish little smile that can brighten the gloomiest day.
If you have never met this little girl, you will certainly not be strangers long, as Emily has a way of making everyone feel like they have always been “best friends”. After 5 minutes of our conversation, I found out that her favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs. Her favorite toy is her LalaLoopsy doll and her favorite colors are orange and pink. Emily’s favorite pastime is spending time with her older brothers Jody, Kalan and Sean, making sure that they don’t get into trouble or make a mess! She also helps take care of her two dogs, Lola and Jersey, as well as her cat, Chester. Emily attends second grade at Pinnacle Classical Academy in Shelby.
Dr. Robertson, Headmaster at Pinnacle Classical Academy attends Mrs. Morris’s second grade class, says that Emily’s presence and excitement for learning and overcoming the various obstacles in her life just lights up a room! One of those obstacles being that Emily has been diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) which can make it very difficult for a child to learn in the regular classroom type setting. According to Dr. Robertson, it is amazing that Emily does not let that affect her growing desire to learn and her determination to succeed and to be engaged in learning activities with the other students. Emily’s parents are Scott and Tammy Trammell of Shelby.
For more information on Pinnacle Classical Academy, visit the website http://pinnacleclassicalacademy.com/ or call the school at 704.740.4040. For more information on CAPD visit the website: www.asha.org.
Submitted by Dawn Downs

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