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Navy Veteran and Education Alumnus a Teacher at Central Catholic High School

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pictured is Justin Morgan, a 2010 Point Park secondary education alumnus and teacher at Central Catholic High School. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Meet Justin Morgan

Job titles: English Teacher and Executive Vice President of the Federation of Pittsburgh Diocesan Teachers Local 2400
Employer:
Central Catholic High School 
Degree earned:
Secondary Education English, Point Park University, 2010
Hometown and current residence:
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests:
Camping, hiking and yard work

How did you land your teaching position at Central Catholic High School?

After graduating from Point Park University, I spent my first year substitute teaching for several school districts. There was one school I particularly favored over the others and that was Central Catholic. I completed my student teaching there and had such a positive experience that I knew I wanted to be part of the Lasallian community.

In the summer of 2011, about two weeks before the school year started, the principal, Br. Robert Schaefer, contacted me about an opening and coming in for an interview. This interview was unlike any other interview I have been through. We spoke mainly on the philosophy of Lasallian education and teaching in a community setting. I remember saying that teaching at Central Catholic felt more like a vocation than just a want or need of a job. When Br. Schaefer told me I was hired at the end of the interview, I knew I was where I was supposed to be, at Central Catholic High School.

What were the main reasons you chose Point Park to study education?

I enlisted in the United States Navy upon my completion of high school for many reasons, one of which was for the G.I. Bill. At the time, the G.I. Bill only covered 75 percent of tuition at any college or university. After applying and being accepted to several universities I looked into the financial requirements for each. I was surprised to find that a private university such as Point Park met my budgetary needs. With ample scholarships and a convenient location centered around many part-time job opportunities, Point Park University made the most sensible decision, financial speaking.

Describe a typical day in your classroom.

There is no such thing as a typical day in teaching; sure we all have our daily routine but each day is a new and exciting challenge. I strive to follow Central Catholic’s mission to foster a life of faith and learning. We (my students and myself) use critical thinking and writing to explore the emotional and spiritual depths of literature. In turn, we use a variety of classic and modern literature as a catalyst to exploring the philosophy of humanity and what creates a man of faith, scholarship and service.

What was one of your favorite experiences as an education student?

My favorite experience as an education student at Point Park was student teaching. I was paired with the best supervisor ever to grace the halls of Point Park University, Mr. Feinert. Mr. Feinert taught me two of the most important lessons all educators must learn. First, how to properly write on a chalkboard; and second, to always have a sense of humor.

In what ways has Point Park helped you achieve your goals?

The rigorous education program and the individual attention from the faculty at Point Park truly helped me achieve my education goals. The professors are very motivational and are able to individualize their support and instruction to the needs of the students. Without the guidance of my student teaching supervisor and the support from the education professors, I would have never achieved the level of excellence needed to be a part of Central Catholic High School.

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