Lea Morris 1343 22203We are pleased to announce that Lea Morris has accepted the position as Southeast Polk’s Director of Special Education. We are excited about the decades of leadership and special education experience she will bring to this position. Many of you know Mrs. Morris as the principal at Clay Elementary, a position she held for 15 years. Prior to that, she served for 3 years as our Jr. High Assistant Principal, 3 years as Monroe Elementary principal at PCM and 2 years as principal at Sacred Heart K-8. She started her teaching career as a Special Education teacher at Newton, South Tama and Burt, Iowa. Lea graduated from the University of South Dakota and then earned her Master’s Degree from Iowa State University. As she steps into this role, Andrea Bruns will step into the role as Clay’s new principal. 

“I believe every child has talents. Sometimes they’re just hidden. Our job is to figure out how each student can learn and then make it happen for them. I love problem-solving and taking on challenges to find ways to make teaching and learning work.” 

Lea loves working with students, parents and teachers specifically with students who may need different approaches to learning. She looks forward to helping our district achieve our mission to help all students learn including all the students who have special requirements.  

Talk about taking on challenges. Her recent personal challenge this past year was climbing 29,029 feet, the vertical elevation of Mt. Everest.  The climb was at Stratton Mountain in Vermont where participants had 36 hours to climb the mountain 17 times.  Each climb took 1-1.5 hours. 

“On that climb, I learned two important things, we have to ask others for help and life is hard.   We can’t do things on our own and we shouldn’t expect ourselves to do things solo just because it may be difficult to ask for help.  When life is hard, we have to keep going and just like climbing the mountain, we have to take one step at a time.” 

With that kind of perseverance and determination, just think of the mountains she’ll move as SEP’s Director of Special Education! 

Lea is married with three daughters, Alexis, Lillian & London. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and doing jigsaw puzzles or diamond art.