principal to be honored
Sunman Elementary School Principal Cynthia Morton has been chosen
District 10 Elementary Principal of the Year. She will be honored
this Sunday, November 22 at a recognition ceremony at the Indianapolis
Marriott Hotel where Indiana Association of School Principals
(IASP) Annual Fall Professional Conference will be held.
Described as very energetic and passionate about doing everything
possible for students, John Roeder, superintendent of Sunman-Dearborn
Community Schools, said she is an excellent administrator.
The prestigious honor is well deserved by Morton, who in her own
words is a life-long learner. She says she holds the
core belief that as an educator she must continually be learning
and demonstrates that belief in her own life.
Morton came to Sunman Elementary School in 2002 as their principal.
She earned her B.A. in elementary education from Purdue University
in 1987 and began teaching at Twin Lakes Community Schools. She
then continued her education to achieve her M.S. in education
and is presently working on her Ph.D. which will be completed
Not only is Morton active in continuing education for herself,
but expects her staff to learn with her.
When asked to describe how she has been a risk-taker to improve
Sunman Elementary, she had this to say. I dont view
myself as a risk-taker to improve my school. I believe in following
research and implementing proven programs to improve student learning.
This is not always well received by those who wish to avoid change,
and perhaps that is a risk I take. Developing teacher
leaders and promoting their decision-making and ideas has improved
Improving the learning environment for her students is priority
for this principal, who is always thinking on her feet when it
comes to education.
Since coming to Sunman, Morton has implemented a Recess
before Lunch program, which has increased lunch consumption
and decreased playground incidents. She says the program has been
working well for six years and is a model for other elementary
schools. Teachers, parents and students have commented on
how this simple change has produced such positive results.
Another program that is working well allows teachers to meet as
a group weekly to monitor continuous improvement and provide professional
A volunteer program that involves the community is important to
students and teachers. Morton incorporates community leaders such
as police, fire, and rescue groups. She also noted that she works
with the media to have stories about happenings at the school
reach the community.
Morton is proud of the 408 students, 33 certified staff members
and 33 classified staff members. The school is equipped with two,
30-station computer labs along with four stations in each classroom.
All the computers function on a school-wide network that supports
software as well as Internet access.
The school boasts a 20-station physical fitness trail which is
part of an outdoor education lab and arboretum located behind
the school building. The fitness stations are located on a 600-meter
trail that winds through 10 acres of wooded area.
Morton is constantly seeking ways to improve the school so her
students have every opportunity to continue learning in higher
grades. She believes the elementary school is where learning habits
are formed. Her commitment to improve herself professionally
is more importantly a commitment to help provide an even better
instructional program for our students and to be an even better
resource for her teaching staff, Roeder wrote in a letter
She has been very active in IASP for the past seven years, where
she has held several leadership positions, such as secretary,
president and served on the board of directors. She currently
serves as the treasurer.
Locally, she serves as the coordinator for the Sunman Dearborn
Principals Professional Development Study Group. Her memberships
include: National Association of Elementary School Principals,
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, National
Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of
Mathematics, International Reading Association and Council for
Although Morton has served in a variety of areas of leadership
and has received awards, her greatest achievement is seeing a
child grasp the concept and know they are learning. Parents of
a student at Sunman, David and Michelle Deddens wrote, she
genuinely loves her profession, her school, the teachers and other
employees working there and most importantly the children.
The Deddens continued by saying she is approachable to parents,
but most importantly, the students. The children know they
will be listened to, respected and treated as special, the
One child noted, I know she even likes bad kids because
she eats lunch with them! Another fourth grader said, I
think it is sweet Mrs. Morton was chosen to receive the Principal
of the Year award because; she is nice, funny, and fun to talk
to. But, also because she helps students to grow with knowledge,
but have fun at the same time.
Morton takes great pride in her chosen career. But, it is much
more than a career. She knows her students by name, and interacts
with them daily. You can find her on the playground at recess,
in the lunchroom, classroom, or outside as the buses arrive or
depart. She is 100% involved in the day-to-day activities at the
school and likes it that way.
She told the Osgood Journal she feels honored to be chosen
2009 District 10 Elementary Principal of the Year. District 10
is made up of Ripley, Dearborn, Decatur, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock,
Jennings, Rush, Shelby and Union counties.
Morton is named District 10 Elementary Principal of the
Mrs. Cindy Morton is pictured in one of
her favorite places - with some of her students at Sunman
Elementary School where she serves as principal. She has
been chosen as the District 10 Elementary Principal of
the Year and will be honored this Sunday in Indianapolis.