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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

New Counselor David Morrow: A Case of Red-Handed Turkeys

New Counselor David Morrow: A Case of Red-Handed Turkeys

David Morrow first decided he wanted to become a school counselor about 20 miles from WJ, while in graduate school at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

He was studying developmental psychology and doing a research project that attempted to disprove Jean Piaget’s theories on cognitive development. His assignment was to visit a kindergarten class in Alexandria, Va. to observe children. Morrow found himself enjoying playing with the children much more than analyzing them. He essentially became “an unpaid glorified classroom aid.”

One day around Thanksgiving, his advisor caught him, literally red handed, as he and the kids were making hand turkeys.

Morrow soon realized that he had a passion for working directly with children. He found a counseling program at the University of Connecticut that was a much better fit for his interests. It was a long road for Morrow to decide on this career path, after switching majors while an undergrad student at the University of Tennessee many times.

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He worked for three years in Connecticut after he graduated from UConn with a Master’s in School Counseling. He worked first in a public high school, with about 500 fewer students than WJ, and then later at an all boys private catholic high school in Middletown, Conn. His wife took a job at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which sent him to Maryland.

“He was an easy choice for us because I think it’s rare that you find somebody as a sub that has actually done the full job before. He had worked in Connecticut, doing the same thing he’s doing here,” said counseling director Dennis Reynolds.

Morrow has been trying to adjust to a pubic school counseling setting.

“Having come from a private school where we kind of did our own thing, I’m still get used to a system that is so big and has so many rules,” he said. “While I’m trying to learn all that stuff, I’m trying to deal with all the current stuff that comes in. But I think I’m doing okay, haven’t broken anything yet.”

As a counselor at WJ, Morrow has about 270 students on his caseload. Sometimes, it seems like reaching out to so many students is difficult.

“There’s never enough time in the day, but we do that best we can,” he said.  “I think it’s a system: teachers, administrators, parents and students all working together to lighten that load. The more everybody puts in, the more you guys will benefit.”

Morrow has been filling in for counselor Nancy Blanco while she is on maternity leave from Feb. 22 until late April or early May.

“As far as coming in here with such a short time period, I’m trying to maintain a balance between subbing in, managing the caseload and not being detached like a sub or manager,” he said. “So it’s kind of a weird tight rope to walk.”

Morrow enjoys cooking (especially barbequing), listening to music, basketball and travelling. He loves our area’s proximity to American history—the civil war and revolutionary eras. Overall, Morrow has been impressed with student involvement at WJ after attending the Black Student Union assembly.

You go to something like that you think speeches, maybe a PowerPoint presentation,” he said. “No, there was singing, dancing, Jimmy Hendrix, Aretha Franklin—it was great.”

 

At a time when jobs are scarce, Reynolds doesn’t want to see a counselor with Morrow’s capabilities go to waste.

“I hope there’s a position for him somewhere in the county. He’s the kind of person who you don’t want to have to see go to another county. Our county needs guys like him in counseling offices,” he said.

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Katie Levingston
Katie Levingston, Online Editor in Chief
Although she seems quiet on the outside, 2010-2011 Online Editor-in-Chief Katie Levingston is bursting with energy on the inside. A former young Parisian in her second year on staff, Katie models her life after certain television shows, namely Gilmore Girls and Friends. She is unnaturally familiar with said sitcoms; she longs for the day when she can eat anything she wants and spend all her time at Central Perk in the Village. Nothing happens to her in real life, it all happens in Stars Hollow or in Monica’s apartment… okay? When she’s not practicing her speed-talking, she plays a mean clarinet in many different musical groups and spends inordinate amounts of time editing videos for the website. Among her most pressing decisions in life are what to order at a restaurant and which scarf to wear that day. She is insanely proud of her thick curly hair when it cooperates. She’s super excited to be a part of the up-and-coming wjpitch.com. Her doppelganger Anne Hathaway says, "Hi!"
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