Local Schools

Student services coordinator honored with Crystal Apple

Tricia Morgan, the student services coordinator at Christ the King School in Topeka, holds two of the prizes she received in conjunction with the Crystal Apple Award while posing with members of the Shump family (Michelle, fourth grader Allie, and kindergartner Avery) who nominated her for the award. On either end are Shawn Knight and Danielle Norwood, co-hosts of “The Morning Majic Show” on Topeka’s Majic 107.7. COURTESY PHOTO

by Marc and Julie Anderson

TOPEKA — Teachers are no strangers to apples. But the one Tricia Morgan received here on March 9 was anything but ordinary — it was made of crystal!

Shawn Knight and Danielle Norwood, co-hosts of the “Morning Majic Show” on Topeka’s KMAJ 107.7, presented Morgan with the Crystal Apple Award for March. Morgan serves as the student services coordinator at Christ the King School in Topeka. She received the honor as the result of a nomination submitted to the radio station by Michelle Shump on behalf of her daughters: Allie, a fourth grader, and Avery, a kindergartner.

In addition to the Crystal Apple, Morgan was featured online and on-air. She also received a prize package from Prairie Band Casino and Resort in Mayetta and qualifies for consideration as the grand prize winner at the end of the year. The winner’s school receives a donation of $1,000.

In their letter, Michelle and Allie Shump, who listen to the radio station while riding to school, wrote: “There is no one with a bigger heart than Mrs. Morgan at Christ the King Elementary School in Topeka. . . . Mrs. Morgan is someone that always has a smile on her face and is willing to lend a hand whenever and wherever it is needed. She has a lot on her plate as she works with many different children throughout the day, but she manages to balance everything and always does it with a smile on her face. She definitely has a kids-first approach, as she strives to find the best environment for students and has been especially supportive to our family over the past several years. Mrs. Morgan takes the time to listen to parents and their needs and works tirelessly to make sure every student is successful with their academic goals.”

Principal Relynn Reynoso agreed, writing later: “Tricia will go the extra mile to make sure a student’s needs are being met and does it with compassion. It is obvious she enjoys her job and is always willing to help out wherever needed. It is truly a vocation for her!”

Later, while recalling the presentation, Morgan said she found herself “somewhat emotional” and that “it was all so very sweet.”

“I was so very surprised,” she said. “What an honor. . . . I’m very humbled by this experience, and I want to share this apple with everyone — that is, all of the teachers and families [at Christ the King].”

About the author

Marc & Julie Anderson

Freelancers Marc and Julie Anderson are long-time contributors to the Leaven. Married in 1996, for several years the high school sweethearts edited The Crown, the former newspaper of Christ the King Parish in Topeka which Julie has attended since its founding in 1977. In 2000, the Leaven offered the couple their first assignment. Since then, the Andersons’ work has also been featured in a variety of other Catholic and prolife media outlets. The couple has received numerous journalism awards from the Knights of Columbus, National Right to Life and the Catholic Press Association including three for their work on “Think It’s Not Happening Near You? Think Again,” a piece about human trafficking. A lifelong Catholic, Julie graduated from Most Pure Heart of Mary Grade School and Hayden Catholic High School in Topeka. Marc was received into the Catholic Church in 1993 at St. Paul Parish – Newman Center at Wichita State University. The two hold degrees from Washburn University in Topeka. Their only son, William James, was stillborn in 1997.

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