Meet David Morse ’08

Helping teenagers master skills and stay in school

David Morse '08

David Morse ’08 thoroughly enjoys working with
teenagers, so it’s not surprising to find him directing the
St. John Valley Technical School in Frenchville, Maine,
located just across the river from neighboring New
Brunswick. Since 2005, he has been the principal of the
school, one of 27 career and technical education schools
for high school juniors and seniors in the state.

“I was excited to come here for two reasons: the
programs are hands-on, and what we are teaching
leads to specific careers in such fields as health care,
early childhood, computer technology, and welding,”
explains Morse, who previously worked with teens in
group homes for six years. “Our 140 students are here
because they want to be. This kind of school helps
prevent dropouts.”

Becoming director required a master’s degree, and
Morse decided to earn a master’s in education from Saint
Joseph’s College. Combining on-campus summer classes
at Saint Joseph’s and online coursework, it took him just
two years to finish his degree with a concentration in
educational administration.

He admits some initial uncertainty about taking online
courses. “I thought I wouldn’t get the same content
as in a classroom, but I was wrong,” says Morse. “My
experiences in the classroom were excellent, too. There
were never unnecessary textbooks to read, never papers
that were a waste of time. Everything was pertinent,
everything applied, and everything challenged me to
think outside of what I knew. The college definitely
prepared me to be successful.”

Since earning his master’s, Morse has introduced
ways for teachers to focus more on improving students’
problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

“Truly changing lives is the most rewarding part
of the job,” he said. “Seeing students succeed makes
my day.”