Morrill Obligations: Assistant Principal Retiring

Assistant Principals Steve Galway and Leslie Morrill before the Food Drive Rally in the fall.

Assistant Principals Steve Galway and Leslie Morrill before the Food Drive Rally in the fall.

By Trevor Laliberte, ’16

While the school has known about Assistant Principal Steve Galway retiring since the beginning of the year, it has only recently come to light that another long-time assistant principal, Leslie Morrill, is also retiring.

She’s currently on medical leave but is coming back full time in April to finish business with the mentor program, graduation, and teacher appraisal before she retires at the end of the year. As of right now, the head of the special education department, Scott Annear is substituting while she’s out and plans on taking her place next year.

Morrill has always been very involved in her job due to her passion for her students, and being involved has taken its toll. Seven or eight years ago, she fell and landed on her neck while trying to stop a fight between two students. Since the original incident, she has had repeated injuries to the neck while on the job, making it difficult to work the way she wants, she said.

“If you don’t get involved, you’re not doing your job,” Morrill said. She has a firm “all or nothing” attitude and won’t do it if she can’t give 100 percent, she said.

Despite the difficulties, Morrill loves her job, she said, and is very open about her passion for her students and school. She’s very fond of the way the principals can be with the same group of kids for all four years, she said, and loves getting to know her students. She’s dedicated to making kids feel welcome and safe, and she feels building that relationship makes a big difference. By getting to know her students, Morrill often has a way of telling when something is wrong and will always try to take action before it gets worse.

“If there’s an incident that blows up, because we really pride ourselves in relationship building, just by being there you can diffuse the incident,” she explained. While every once in a while something gets out of hand and Morrill finds herself in the wrong end of a bad situation, she feels that is a rare occasion and more often than not, things can be controlled.

Morrill tries to not only build relationships with students, but to help them build relationships with each other. She loves to see kids helping each other out, which is why she’s a big supporter of the student-driven Kick-Off Mentor program. She believes it has made a difference in making the freshmen feel welcome, and it has also greatly decreased the amount of hazing happening to the underclassmen. Getting your head stuffed in a locker or a toilet is an issue of the past at EL.

Morrill understands that the biggest difference is made through student interaction. “The stuff that’s mattered has been kid driven,” she said. “Not adults talking to kids, like ‘please don’t be mean to each other’, but when kids talk about ‘hashtag no bull’, it means something, it comes from the kids. I’m all about kid power.” 

There’s been a lot of attention paid to Galway’s retiring, and Morrill confirms that both of them leaving the same year is completely coincidental. Until now, she’s kept quiet about her retirement, because she feels he deserves the spotlight.

It makes sense; in their years of working together, Galway has always been the one to speak up and make himself known. He’s a highly visible, driving force at Edward Little and will be remembered that way. Morrill has done more work behind the scenes, keeping things organized and orderly.

“She’s been instrumental in creating a lot of programs here at Edward Little.” Galway said about Morrill. “The one who succeeds her, as they say, has big shoes to fill.”

Morrill has truly made a positive difference to students in her time at Edward Little. Morgan Laferriere, sophomore, says “She’s a super nice person, and I really like that every time I see her, she’s smiling.”

Morrill is looking forward to the freedom that retirement will give her. Being a school administrator is a big time commitment, and she needs more free time to be there for her family. She also hopes to be more active in her hobbies. She’s a skier and is also fond of quilting. Not having work to focus on will give her the opportunity to enjoy all these things more.

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