Morgan Academy wins President’s Award…again

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

It’s hardly surprising Morgan Academy has won this year’s Alabama Independent School Association’s (AISA) President’s Award – a symbol of excellence among the state’s 77 private schools.

Since the award was established 17 years ago, the Selma school has been the victor a record 14 times – a factoid Morgan Headmaster Dr. Christopher de Buzna is more than happy to share. On Friday morning, de Buzna said it’s humbling to know “the little school to side” can triumph over larger schools in Birmingham and Montgomery – “a compliment to the teachers, students, coaches and the community.”

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“(The President’s Award) is a good, strong reflection of the quality education we have here in Selma and Dallas County,” he said. “It shows central Alabama can put out a product just as well as any place in Alabama.”

Central Alabama can indeed. The President’s Award is proof Morgan Academy produces the highest standardized test scores and the highest number of senior academic scholars and college scholarships. Morgan’s 61-member 2005 senior class earned $1.8 million in scholarships, with 99 percent of graduates going to college. Over a 20-year period – 1985 to 2005 – Morgan has earned a grand total of $9,167,734 in academic scholarships.

“The senior class had a lot to do with this. We had an excellent class this year,” de Buzna said. “We had a lot of bright children.”

The award also credits teachers that have advanced degrees and student performance in state academic competitions. Currently, 40 percent of Morgan’s faculty has master’s degrees, de Buzna said. The headmaster later added students made top-rated showings in state computer, spelling, math, speech, essay, drama and choir contests. de Buzna believes Morgan’s 14-year winning streak would not be if it weren’t for the strong relationship between faculty and students, admitting one group can’t thrive without the other.

“Without (the faculty) and without these kids, we couldn’t succeed in the things we do here at Morgan Academy,” de Buzna said.

With all talk on academics, de Buzna said Morgan has earned its share of athletic accolades as well. The school has received the AISA’s best athletic program honor – the Chairman’s Award – a record 11 times.

Morgan is the only 3-A AISA school to earn both the President’s Award and the Chairman’s Award in the same year and boasts “no other school has been tapped with this honor.”

“It’s good to be number one,” de Buzna said of yet another successful school year.

“Number one really means something.”