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Superintendent of the Year

The New Hampshire School Administrators Association, in coordination with the American Association of School Administrators, has announced that Dr. James Morse is the New Hampshire Superintendent of the Year for 2018. Dr. Morse, Superintendent of Schools for the Oyster River Cooperative School District (SAU #05), will receive a special award during the AASA National Conference on Education in Nashville, TN, in February 2018.

James was selected for this honor by a panel of his peers and from a distinguished group of nominees. Oyster River Cooperative School District (ORCSD) school board chair, Thomas Newkirk, stated, “As Board chair for much of [Dr. Morse’s] time at ORCSD, I have had a ringside seat to watch his leadership style. Several qualities continually shine through. One is his good sense and judgment… In good times and tough times, Dr. Morse always conveys a sense of possibility… I always leave his office feeling energized, hopeful, and fortunate to be working with him.”

Dennis Harrington, retired ORCSD principal, says, “I have worked with several supervisors whom I considered excellent. Jim Morse is above excellent. He is honest, changes his mind based on information, and both supports and challenges all who work around him.”

James’ educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education degree, both from University of Maine, and a Doctorate in Education from Sarasota University. James started his administrative career in RSU 3 in Unity, Maine, as an elementary principal. He was hired by Limestone Public Schools as the middle/high school principal and was later appointed as superintendent of Limestone schools. James served as superintendent for RSU 18 in Oakland, Maine, for 12 years before becoming superintendent in Portland, Maine. He then joined the Oyster River Cooperative School District, where he has been superintendent since 2012.

James currently is an Executive Board member of New Hampshire School Administrators Association, serves on the Executive Board of Strafford Learning Center, is the Seacoast Superintendent’s Association treasurer, and has previously served on the executive board of Maine Superintendent’s Association as well as the NESDEC Executive Board. James is also currently part of the Oyster River Cooperative School District Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and has previously held positions on various public committees.

James grew up in poverty and was a high school drop-out.  He believes public education and the public university system placed him on the road to the success he has achieved in his life.  His three children, James, Jr., Kimberly, and Ian, brought meaning and love to his life.  He is forever grateful for the support he has received over his career from dedicated and caring public school teachers with whom he’s worked.

Dr. Carl Ladd, executive director of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association noted, “Jim is an outstanding role model of the many school superintendents in our state who work everyday in support of public education. He is a tireless advocate for students and their families and is a true Champion for Children.”