As an Advanced Placement literature and language teacher at Davis High School, Diana Morrow takes pride in challenging and pushing her students to pursue rigorous coursework in order to prepare them for life after high school.
“I tell my students this is going to be the hardest class they’ll take in their life,” Morrow said. “They need this class to understand analyzing, synthesizing, how to defend an argument, how to write. These are the skills they need for college. So, I have such a big responsibility to help these kids be successful.”
In addition to being an advocate for her students, Morrow was recently selected as one of 170 teachers from five states to be an AP Advocate by the College Board, a non-profit organization that connects students across the country to college success. The AP Advocates Program is a new initiative engaging AP teachers from Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and New York in College Board’s efforts to provide every student with access to opportunities that prepare them for college.
As an AP Advocate, Morrow will receive professional development and meet directly with leading policymakers to help them understand teachers’ views and present teacher-generated solutions.
Morrow says she’s successful at her job because she understands the challenges her students face. Some are teen parents or a child of an incarcerated parent. But she won’t let their circumstances prevent them from excelling in her classroom.
“My students can’t dare tell me they can’t do the work because I did,” says Morrow, who once cleaned houses and offices for a living and began college at the age of 41. “Education changed me. When I walked into my first college class, I walked into knowledge. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t dusting, vacuuming. I was learning…this is why I push my students so hard.”