C.D. Morton is the new head Dragon at Harlan High and Middle School.
“The council made the decision to hire Mr. Morton on Wednesday,” said Superintendent David Johnson. “We had to apply for waivers, because of the time requirements for posting the position. He officially began work on Monday. We’re awfully pleased to have Mr. Morton as principal at Harlan High School. We’re confident he’ll do a fantastic job. He brings a wide variety of experiences and skills to the job. I’m sure he will do well.”
Morton was formerly the director of district-wide services at the Harlan Independent. He replaces Stacy Noah who recently resigned after accepting another position with the Kentucky Department of Education.
In an interview earlier this week, Morton said when he was a young child he always had ambition to become a principal of a school, never thinking it would one day be Harlan High School.
“At the beginning of this school year, Mr. Johnson came to me and asked if I would be willing to help out at the middle schoo. So, I went over there for two or three weeks,” said Morton. “While I felt like I was effective in what I was doing in my job as director of district-wide services, working directly with the kids was a pleasant surprise. I felt like I came alive when I got out of central office. I thought this is something I really like to do. Just talking with the kids, parents and staff felt really good. I had settled into helping out at the middle school for the year when Mrs. Noah decided she was going on to bigger and better things. It seemed like if I was going to do this (dream of becoming a principal) now was the time to do it. I thought if I miss this opportunity I may look back and regret it. This is a really hard job, but I think I can do this. I’ll put my best foot forward.”
A Harlan High School alumnus, Morton attended Asbury College, Union College and Eastern Kentucky University. He was an elementary school teacher at Harlan Elementary School for approximately five years and has held the position of director of district-wide services for the past 15 years. He is married to Jennifer, a second grade teacher at Harlan Elementary School, and they have three children, who are also students at Harlan Middle and Harlan Elementary schools.
“I’m looking forward to taking the reins,” said Morton. “The way things happened it didn’t afford me the chance to say I’m going to go into this job with these things to do. When a principal leaves after the school year has started, you kind of have to run with what you have. Mrs. Noah did a wonderful job here. I’m getting my feet under me and then I’ll see what I think we need to do differently and pursue that. There’s not a whole lot that needs to be changed.”
Morton said, “The kids are well behaved and have high expectations. We’re going to shoot for the stars in everything we do. I’m overwhelmed by the response I have received from staff and students and humbled by the support I have received from the community. I intend to work hard and do the very best I can do. The great thing about Harlan High School is we have a long standing tradition of excellence and nearly everyone who walks through our doors knows that.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org