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Fulton Educator Receives 'Teacher of the Year' Award from Ashford University
Award winner receives $500.00 for classroom supplies
Tim Morris was recently named Ashford University's Teacher of the Year for 2015. Pictured with him are representatives from Ashford's College of Education: Laurie Zahn, Diane Willging, Mindy Dunlap, Champ the mascot, Maura Chaney and Joen Larson.

When students at River Bend Middle School in Fulton found out Tim Morris had been named Ashford University’s “2015 Teacher of the Year,” they gave him a standing ovation. Morris, who teaches seventh grade history and literature and eighth grade history at River Bend, received his special recognition on April 30.

“There are many passionate and dedicated teachers in our local area who utilize their talents and creativity in the classroom on a daily basis to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” Ashford University instructor Dr. Mindy Dunlap said in announcing the award. “Ashford University is proud to honor one of these outstanding teachers with the Teacher of the Year Award. This year’s recipient was once described as ‘the perfect example of how a teacher should teach and how a teacher should treat students.’”

Ashford assistant professor Dr. Maura Chaney, who has observed Ashford’s student teachers in Morris’ classroom, added, “It is very evident that Mr. Morris has a deep passion for teaching that is contagious to not only students but to our teacher candidates. It is a pleasure to be a part of his classroom as he makes real-world connections, actively engages students in a variety of learning activities, and just makes learning fun.”

Morris received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis in history from Illinois College in Jacksonville. After graduation, he was hired in Fulton in 1996, where he has been teaching ever since. He received his master’s degree in teaching and learning with technology from Ashford University in 2009. 

“I was inspired to teach by my second grade teacher, Mrs. Shea, who made learning fun,” Morris said. “At that early stage in my life, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My parents are my biggest inspiration as my mother taught me creativity and my father taught me a hard work ethic. I owe all of my success to these two wonderful parents.”

He spends his spare time cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the St. Louis Cardinals and learning about American history. He also enjoys taking his eighth grade students on a Washington D.C. trip in June.

As the Teacher of the Year, Morris received $500.00 from Ashford University to purchase classroom supplies.

To be eligible for the Ashford University Teacher of the Year Award, teachers must be employed at a public or private K-12 school in the Iowa counties of Clinton, Scott, or Jackson; the Illinois counties of Carroll, Whiteside, or Rock Island; or any school district that has hosted Ashford University student-teacher clinical placements. Program participants must be employed at schools in these areas; residency is not a determining factor.


About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s online degree programs, while the Clinton, Iowa campus offers bachelor’s programs. Whether on campus or online, Ashford students enjoy the same supportive community. For more information, please visit,,, or call Shari Winet, Vice President of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.