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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

Teacher of 18 years gets promoted to magnet coordinator

Jasmine McNair
Seniors Andrew Arevalo, Jenna Rodriguez and Andrew Romero laugh with Magnet Coordinator James Morrison during orientation on Aug. 1.

This year, AP Environmental Science and biology teacher James Morrison has left the classroom after teaching for 18 years to take on the position of the school’s new magnet coordinator.

“The way I’m looking at it right now, I’m done in the classroom and I don’t want to be in the classroom,” Morrison said. “If I keep going backwards and stay in the past, I’ll never get forward in the future to see where I’m going.”

After the previous magnet coordinator Natalie Berghoudian transferred to Taft Charter High School this summer, her position became open. Morrison jumped in and took on this position, leaving the biology teacher position open. George Padgett, who was last year’s long-term substitute for math, took on being the long-term substitute for the biology class. 

“I like being magnet coordinator because I like being able to help and being there for the students and staff and everyone else,” Morrison said. “When I say my door is open, I truly mean my door is open.”

Morrison taught at Birmingham High School before it left the Los Angeles Unified School District to become a charter school in 2009. He was the teacher to walk over to the district office from Birmingham and request that Daniel Pearl Magnet High School become its own stand-alone school. 

Because Morrison taught biology, he was able to make a connection with every student because he had all the freshmen in his class. He is now trying to get to know all the new freshmen because he wants to have a good connection with all of the students at the school.

“I do think that as the future comes and goes, I think that changes will be made for the better because I know he’s one-hundred percent capable of doing that,” sophomore Jordan Viviano said. “I think that this position was just kind of meant for him, so he would absolutely do a fantastic job making great changes.”

Morrison is excited for this year because of the changes he can make, bringing students to the school, cutting down on tardies, making sure students have the chance to succeed and giving teachers a voice. 

“I look forward to bringing kids into the school, cutting down on tardies, making sure the kids have the chance to succeed,” said Morrison, who co-found PearlCon, the school’s main fundraising event. “Doing what’s best for everyone, not necessarily what’s right, but what’s best. How I can be more a help than a hindrance. And also giving teachers a voice to enable them to change things that they feel should change.”

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About the Contributors
Serena Elkins
Serena Elkins, Staff Writer
Serena Elkins is a staff writer in her sophomore year of high school and first year on The Pearl Post staff. She is the sophomore Class President, Head of Membership in PTSA and Leadership Council Secretary. She loves to plan and volunteer at school community events. Outside of school, she enjoys painting, baking and archery. She is very excited to be a part of The Pearl Post staff and get to know the other staff members and editors while writing and taking photos.
Jasmine McNair
Jasmine McNair, Staff Writer
Jasmine McNair is in her first year as a staff writer for The Pearl Post and is in the 11th grade. She enjoys listening to music, being with friends and baking during her free time. McNair aims to improve her writing skills, boost her confidence and form better communication skills. This is the perfect opportunity for her to try something new and be more involved with her school.
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