Erin Morris, Ms PsychHead of School

“As a lifelong educator, my passion has been grounded in educating the whole child. The right social and experiential education environment coupled with supportive curriculum creates an amazing place for children to learn and succeed.”

My educational background:

B.S. Interdisciplinary Psychology of Biology (Long Island University)
M.S. Psychology (Walden University)

My certifications:

Middle grades teaching certification

My social/emotional trainings:

Social Thinking, Jed Baker, Mindfullness

My favorite teacher from my past:

Mr. Yaria, my 6th grade science teacher. Mr. Yaria was this enormous teddy bear of a man who taught science in a fun and engaging way. I remember his classroom being in the basement of our middle school, but having him make the class fun and enjoyable! I remember science experiments and fun field trips. He inspired me to get excited about science. I also have a favorite college professor, Dr. Forrester. When I was moving on to my graduate program and I was deciding between going for educational leadership or advanced psychology, Dr. Forrester encouraged me to follow where “my heart led me”. That direction was towards psychology.

What do I love about Epiphany?

Absolute laughter! Laughter from the bellies of our students and staff. So much joy and so many fun conversations in the hallway and classrooms!

How does teaching and working with children inspire me?

I like to be “refreshed” from our adult world, which can be gloom and doom at times. Children, especially those on the spectrum, can take us down an unfiltered and refreshed road of thinking.

My spirit animal:

Sea Turtle

My favorite movie:

Moulin Rouge

My favorite board game:

Shadows in the Forest

My favorite book:

Ahab’s Wife

My favorite character, cartoon, or superhero:

Tigger. He is happy and bouncy and has a positive outlook on life!

My Interests and hobbies:

Sailing, hiking, volleyball and animals

My travels and adventures:

Lived in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Southampton and Jacksonville. Traveled to Europe and sailed from Nova Scotia to South America and back!

My favorite thing to do, place to go, or eatery in Charlotte:

Whitewater Center and Anne Springs Close Greenway! Futo Buta Ramen, yum!

My Epiphany Story goes back to the very first weekend in 2014 when I moved to Charlotte. I visited the school at the former campus in the city of Matthews and received a tour from the current Head of School. I was overwhelmed with how happy the children were, how engaged in learning they were, and how calm and peaceful the school was. All while the children experienced wonderful curriculum and social skills programming. I immediately called my colleagues in the education world and told them, “They’re doing it! They’re really doing it! This school is doing exactly what they say they are, and they’re doing it well.” I left Epiphany that day with renewed vigor in the world of teaching. Little did I know that in the near future, life would bring me full circle back to Epiphany.

I had been teaching in an experiential environment since the summer of 2003. I graduated from Long Island University with a Bachelor of Arts in the Interdisciplinary Psychology of Biology. After working with students ranging in age from 11-18 on sailing vessels along the North American coast and Caribbean countries, I found myself land-bound again and teaching at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens as an Education Center specialist. I worked with homeschooling groups, outreach programs and classroom science curriculum for several years. I loved my time at the zoo and was fortunate to work with exotic animals in a research-based zoological environment.

It was after this that I moved from teaching at the zoo to teaching in the classroom. (and yes, the ongoing joke is that students talk back…animals usually don’t!) I wanted to become a full-time teacher and work in a middle school setting. I taught gifted students and remedial students in grade 6 in the subjects of math, science, and social studies. I loved the school in Jacksonville, Florida and became engaged in many programs there including Science Curriculum Team and Assistant Coaching for the Volleyball team. While finishing my Master’s degree in Psychology, the school district asked me to step into the role of Guidance Counselor for the IEP program (Individual Education Plan). I counseled in public school for 2 years, graduated with my Master’s degree in Psychology and eventually left public school to put my efforts into advocacy for special needs children, and to work for a private company for over 8 years that focused on cognitive skill development. In the world of cognitive skill-building, I was able to meet and work with many students who happened to be on the spectrum or who had processing differences. These children…these brains…became my world. It is where my passion in the world of education and children is grounded now.

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Lacey Dudiak, Teacher