Teaching and leading with compassion

When you think of a leader who goes above and beyond for her students, colleagues agree that Nelida Morehead, a bilingual teacher at C.F. Carr Elementary School, is who you should picture.  

Morehead, now in her ninth year of teaching, became a teacher after hearing about the district’s Alternative Certification Program. She decided to change careers to transition out of working as an investigator for Child Protective Services. Although she has a heart for social work, she was reaching a point of feeling like she needed a break. She saw teaching as a way to continue with her mission of helping children. 

As a teacher, Morehead has worn many hats and has received various accolades, including serving as Campus Instructional Leadership Team, the Districtwide Advisory Committee, coaching robotics and the Lone Star Challenge, becoming a Distinguished Teacher, recognized by the Texas Education Agency, regional board member of Destination Imagination, and Challenge Master for Rising Stars for Destination Imagination, and has been a mentor for new teachers for the last four years. Morehead also served on a TEA committee to which educators from throughout the state were invited to provide feedback on the development of assessments including STAAR, STAAR Alternate 2, and TELPAS. 

Morehead became involved with the TEA committee because she is always looking for different opportunities to expand ways to help her students. She looks for these opportunities in newsletters, emails and other sources she gets from different agencies. She applied and received a notification that she had been accepted. 

“I always believe that the people who make important decisions need to be there on the frontlines,” Morehead said. “To me it was a great opportunity to give feedback on the things that we do daily as teachers, and I was able to do that when I went to that committee.” 

Morehead was also recently awarded a scholarship for full-tuition to attend Southern Methodist University where she will pursue a master’s degree in leadership in educational administration. Through the encouragement of the administrators of the three campuses Morehead has worked for in the district, she is pursuing her goal of becoming a principal.  

One of the favorite things about doing what she does is expanding children’s minds through different platforms, Morehead said. 

“I can do it through coaching, through teaching, or taking kids on a field trip,” she said. “I love to take my students on a field trip because I know some of my students are lacking a little bit of background knowledge and experiences, so every year we take different field trips where I feel that they’re learning something.”

The latest field trip the students went to was at a park to view the solar eclipse, where the students had an incredible time, she said.

She would like for her students to take away from their experience in her classroom how to become independent, responsible, and thinkers—something she expresses to them on the first day of school.

“I want them to become a well-rounded student, not just academically but also be able to think and rationalize things and to be independent and be responsible,” she said. 

Morehead said that the students who are sometimes called ‘challenging’, are her favorites. She says she doesn’t take the word challenging so much into account, because she likes to see how the student is with her. 

“They don’t know a positive way to get attention, but I hope that in those eight months that they spend with me, they learn that there is another way,” Morehead said. “It’s not that they are challenging students, but they haven’t been taught yet how to do it differently. Like they say, it takes a village and I’m happy to be part of this village.” 



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