By: JB ’20
When Mr. Brad Morris first picked up the protractor and began to inspire the Friends’ Central community three-and-a-half decades ago, the universe was a vastly different place: Back to the Future was the hottest flick of the year, the “information superhighway” (also known as the Internet) was a mere two years of age, and the now-grown Joel Dankoff hadn’t even reached his double digits. More than three thousand students, six United States presidents, and an infinite amount of devoted moments later, Mr. Morris has established for himself an enduring legacy as an educator embodying the highest forms of compassion, fairness, and authenticity.
I often imagine Mr. Morris as the lone Hawaiian among a cacophony of New Yorkers. In the admittedly stressful, fast-paced, and sometimes drama-prone environment of our high school, Mr. Morris brings a singular and refreshing sense of calm and reassurance, which I believe contributes to why so many are drawn to him. This is not to assert, however, that Mr. Morris is idle or that he doesn’t urge his students to persevere through whatever challenges that may greet us. Conversely, it is only after we have tried our hardest that Mr. Morris reminds us that sometimes, circumstances may not unfold the way we may have dreamed them to, and that this is actually okay, even positive! I have been the personal beneficiary of Mr. Morris’ gentle advising. He has shown me how to “go with the flow” while simultaneously continuing to persist. As I pursue my future endeavors, I will maintain a special place in my head for Mr. Morris’ radio voice reminding me that, “other people may get caught up in stuff that’s just not important, but if you focus on what matters and give it your all, you will have success.”
Mr. Morris, please know how much you have taught all of us. You are simply an “all-around good guy,” and we wish you a well-deserved and hearty retirement, and of course, much time “down the shore!” Here’s to Mr. Morris, a one-of-a-kind teacher whom we will always admire.