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Albemarle Co. charter school educator awarded for bringing innovation into the classroom

Updated: Oct. 5, 2020 at 1:02 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An educator at the Community Charter Middle School (CCMS) in Albemarle County is being recognized for his commitment to innovation in the classroom, but his students say he’s much more than their teacher.

“When he teaches, he does it in the funniest way and like makes it fun,” Eli Hampton, a student at CCMS, said.

CCMS Youth Entrepreneurship Facilitator Dom Morse works side-by-side with students, helping them design and development hands-on projects.

“The projects vary between science and social studies. For me, it’s just as we do hands-on activities that I get the support and add some different manufacturing techniques,” Morse said.

Now, he’s being recognized as the Charlottesville Innovation Council Educator of the Year.

“It’s a team effort. We work together and we bring different experiences from all over,” Morse said.

For Morse, teaching is more than learning from a textbook. It’s about getting to know your students personally: “You can call me a friend and brother, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s just about building relationships,” he said.

“He taught me not to be somebody else, to be myself, and try to express to other people that if somebody tries to put you down, get back up and show them that you’re going to be yourself no matter what,” Hampton said.

“As soon as he walks in the room and he says something he makes the whole room laugh, smile, and lights up the whole day,” student Juan Barranco said.

Morse hopes to keep fueling his students' passion for learning and inspiring them to keep going no matter what.

“Every person has a different background and being able to find something you can relate with and bring some of that personality out of them especially at the beginning of the school year is very important,” Morse said.

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