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During his tenure as Alabama Superintendent of Education, Dr. Joseph Morton `69 has served as the driving force behind a number of programs designed to better prepare students for the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technology.
The Auburn University College of Education honored Morton with its Outstanding Alumni Award during its 28th Annual Awards and Recognition Ceremony held April 6 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. Morton, who earned a bachelor's degree in secondary social science education from Auburn, earned the award by virtue of his commitment to improving the scholastic achievement of and building better futures for Alabama's children.
Morton helped guide the creation and implementation of such measures as the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative , the Alabama Reading Initiative, ACCESS: Alabama Connecting Classrooms, the Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX), which received a national "Best of the Web'' award, and the Alabama Supercomputer Authority, which facilitates connectivity at the K-20 levels. Morton has also facilitated the expansion of advanced placement courses to every high school in the state through improved educational technology. Alabama currently leads the nation in the number of students taking advanced placement exams.
Morton became the state superintendent of education in 2004. He is the third in a line of College of Education graduate to serve as state superintendent over the course of a 34-year period.
Before his appointment by the Alabama State Board of Education, he served for eight years as deputy state superintendent of education. During his tenure as state superintendent, Alabama has made significant gains in reading and math assessment scores and has been recognized as a national leader in training future teachers and principals. In an effort to combat high childhood obesity rates, the Alabama Department of Education has also implemented initiatives to improve student nutrition and exercise.
Morton, a former superintendent for Sylacauga City Schools and Sumter County Schools, has received national recognition for his work in the last year.
In November 2008, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) honored Morton with its State Policy Maker Award. SETDA represents state directors for educational technology and focuses on using technology to improve student achievement.
"The use of technology, combined with effective teaching, is what is necessary to keep students competitive with their counterparts and prepared for life after high school,'' Morton said.
Morton has been named as the of the top 100 school executives in North America by The Executive Educator magazine. He was also a member of the inaugural classes of Leadership Sylacauga and Leadership Alabama .
Last Updated: May 17, 2011