New Albany High School teacher Greg Morris recently was named High School Teacher of the Year, which is determined by his peers voting online for the Educators' Voice Awards.

New Albany High School teacher Greg Morris recently was named High School Teacher of the Year, which is determined by his peers voting online for the Educators' Voice Awards.

Morris teaches Advanced Placement physics and chemistry and has worked for New Albany-Plain Local for 18 years.

He said he was uncomfortable at first being nominated by principal Dwight Carter.

"I am not a person to want attention or applause for doing what most of us in education have chosen to dedicate our lives to ... that is, helping kids," Morris said in an emailed response to ThisWeek.

Morris said he is surrounded at the high school by teachers he aspires to "be more like, to be as dedicated as, to work as hard as, to be as focused as, to be as organized as," which "says a great deal about the quality people I am fortunate enough to have as colleagues."

Being chosen for the Educators' Voice Awards qualifies Morris for the Bammy Awards, which will be announced Sept. 26 for outstanding educators chosen through the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C.

The Educators' Voice Awards are determined by popular vote online by other teachers and members of the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, according to the Bammy Awards website.

After learning more about the awards, Morris said, he realized teachers do sometimes have to talk or write about what they do.

Morris said when he started working in New Albany, the district was small and rural and now has grown to be respected locally and nationally.

Morris, who was born in Massillon, said he always knew he wanted to be a teacher but it took a while for him to begin that career path.

"I graduated from Jackson High School, played one year of football at Cornell University and then transferred and played baseball at the College of Wooster," he said. "I have a bachelor's degree in chemistry and worked as a chemist for two years before going to (the) Ohio State University, where I earned a master's degree in educational research and statistics and a master's degree in education in math, science and technology while working part time for the School Study Council of Ohio."

Morris said a high school coach tried to dissuade him from becoming a teacher, telling him "you are far smarter than that."

"I was surprised then, as an 18-year-old, and as an adult I am more sad for him that he was not satisfied with his profession because I absolutely love coming to work every day," Morris said. "Likewise I am disappointed that anyone in education would have that opinion of the profession. We struggle enough to be accepted as highly educated professionals who could be successful in many fields or businesses but have chosen teaching."

Morris said students are the best part of his job.

"I love working with young people," he said.

He said he encourages students to work with him on physics problems even during lunch.

"I let them get to know me personally. It is necessary to build trust," Morris said. "I stay in touch with hundreds of former students and athletes."