By Eric Erickson
A leadership change has occurred at Como Park High School.
With a wealth of educational experience, Kirk Morris has been selected as the new principal for Como Park High School. He succeeds Stacy Theien-Collins, who resigned as Como’s principal to accept the principal’s post at Richfield High School.
After earning a bachelor of science degree in mathematics at Mississippi Valley State University, Morris was an elementary school teacher in St. Paul and began coaching football, basketball and baseball.
Morris went back to teach and coach in Mississippi for a few years before returning to St. Paul in 2000. Since then, he has served students as a classroom teacher, coach, an administrative intern at Ramsey and Murray Middle Schools, an assistant principal at Highland Middle and Murray and as principal of Benjamin E. Mayes IB World School since 2014.
During his career, Morris has attained a Master of Arts from St. Thomas University, a K-12 principal’s license from St. Mary’s University and completed St. Paul Public Schools Leadership Institute, as well as Minnesota State University Institute for Courageous Principal Leadership.
As Morris takes the principal’s helm at Como Park High, we conducted a short Q-and-A with him to gain insights into his educational administrative career and hear his initial thoughts for Como Park High.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in education, and specifically one as an administrator?
A: My career in education began as a youth baseball coach. My love for the kids and watching them grow was very rewarding. That’s when I realized a career in education was my destiny. I was a classroom teacher for 12 years before becoming an administrator.
Although I loved being a teacher, about 12 years ago, an opportunity to become an administrative intern presented itself. In that role, I quickly realized that as a Black male leader, I was needed in the administrative role because my lived experiences and perspective can greatly help improve the entire system.
Q: What are you looking forward to in your new role as Como’s principal?
A: In my new role as principal at Como Park High School, I’m looking forward to being a part of Como’s rich tradition of academic excellence and school spirit. I’m looking forward to being the leader for academic excellence for all students. As a former coach, I’m also looking forward to all the activities and events that high school has to offer.
As the Bugle went to press, the manner for reopening school this fall in St. Paul and across the state was still a fluid situation. Morris and the Como administrative team are preparing for the work ahead and are ready to adapt in order to safely and effectively serve all students, within state and district guidelines.
Eric Erickson is a social studies teacher at Como Park High School.