2020 Teacher of the Year:
Mariah Morris teaches second grade at West Pine Elementary School in West End, North Carolina where she integrates STEM into her student-centered curriculum. Morris believes in the power of the 4Cs of 21st-century learning: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, to transform the learning of our schools. By integrating STEM into her classroom, Morris excites her second graders to take ownership of their learning by weaving coding, engineering, and problem-based inquiry into the core curriculum. Morris believes in the power of our nation’s diverse schools to transform the lives of our youth. Growing up in a working-class family, Morris saw the power of education in her own life to open doors and help her actualize her dream of graduating from college. Seeing the life-changing power of education in her own life filled Morris with a passion to help students actualize their dreams. Morris is a leader of STEM integration in her school and across North Carolina. She regularly speaks about her experiences in STEM integration and provides professional development to educators about how to incorporate the 4Cs into their classrooms. Morris is part of the #IAmCS campaign, which is a statewide initiative in North Carolina aimed at moving the needle forward when it comes to gender equity in the field of computer science. She leads with STEM in hopes of encouraging a paradigm shift in education. Morris holds a bachelor of arts in English from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master of science in Education from Wake Forest University.