English Teacher Brittany Morgan Takes Over Shelly Parks’ Classes for the Semester


Credit to Jordan Stanley

English teacher Brittany Morgan was hired to teach Shelly Parks’ second semester classes after Parks announced she would be missing over 80 days of this semester.

By Madison Abanathie and Jordan Stanley

When English teacher Shelly Parks was announced Missouri State Teacher of the Year, she didn’t expect that she would have to give up teaching her English classes for an entire year. Starting after her win on Aug. 28, the search for her replacement began.

“I was given an award, Missouri State Teacher of the year, which is really cool,” Parks said. “If you looked at my calendar, I was going to be out of the classroom for 80 or 90 days. So the district decided that that wasn’t that great for kids, which I totally agree with.”

Enter Brittany Morgan, a 2018 SEMO graduate in English Education. Morgan, in her short time out of college, has already compiled two semesters of classroom experience. She student taught while still in college and, after graduating, had two long term substitute jobs at FHC and FHHS. Morgan took over Parks’ AP Foundations, AP Lit and English 2 classes. Having experience in AP Lit and English 2 from her previous jobs, she feels comfortable with those.

“The fact that I’m a young teacher is both my strength and my weakness,” Morgan said. “Being younger means I don’t have a ton of experience and I’m still learning as I go, but it also means I am right out of school and have a lot of new ideas of what I want to implement.”

Morgan heard about Parks’ job while subbing at FHHS and decided to go for the opportunity. She interviewed on Oct. 12 and didn’t hear anything while FHSD was on fall break. Morgan was inspired to become an English teacher by the relationships she had with her teachers throughout her education. According to Morgan, her teachers took the time to build relationships with their students and Morgan hopes to embody that by building a strong bond with her students.

“I chose high school over elementary, because I think you form a deeper bond with a high schooler,” Morgan said. “You get know their real life situation and relate to them.”

Along with new teachers comes new first impressions. Some of Parks’ students were unsure of starting the middle of the year with a new teacher, but those concerns seem to have subsided in the three weeks since the new semester began.

“She’s a really good teacher,” sophomore Sarah Williams. “She seems really fun and outgoing and I love that she has some of the interests that I do. She’s really fun and upbeat all the time, she tries to make the classroom light and happy.”