Griffin Morris found what his passion was in a classroom at Medora Elementary School.
Morris, one of 23 members of the Medora High School Class of 2018 to participate in commencement Friday night, said he can remember sitting in art class when a certain lesson stuck out to him.
“It was when I got into art and we had to read a book about kids getting into comics, and we were all bringing comics in and swapping them,” he said.
The class also showed him how to make miniature comic books by folding pieces of paper together. He also credits his uncle for getting him into comic books and art.
That passion for comics has led him to pursue studio art at Indiana University Southeast with hopes of publishing his own comic books one day.
Pursuing his dream would not have been possible without the help of teachers and staff at the only school he has ever known.
“All the people have supported me and tried to get me to go further with what I do with my art,” he said. “Any time you need help, they’re here to help you.”
Art teacher Abbie Showecker has been a big influence for Morris and has pushed him to do things with art that he didn’t expect to do.
“She has been able to get me to go beyond drawing like painting and ceramics and three-dimensional art,” he said. “She’s pushed me out of my comfort zone in art.”
Showecker is just part of a staff that makes students’ success a priority, Morris said.
“The teachers want you to get better, and they want you to learn,” he said. “They push you to achieve things that you didn’t think you could and learn things to broaden you.”
Teachers are able to give more attention to each student and their needs because the school is so small, he said. Morris said he likes having a smaller school because the students become more like family than peers.
“It’s interesting, and you get close to each other since there’s not a whole lot of people,” he said. “You know everyone, and everyone is watching your back. Since everyone knows each other, they want the best for each other.”
That can sometimes lead to unnecessary tension between them, but Morris pointed out that is common in most families, too.
“We all care about each other no matter what,” he said.
Morris said that feeling of unity is not just limited to the school but throughout the community.
“The people here in the community are close to each other,” he said. “It’s a great time being down here, and it’s a good place to be. It’s a wonderful place.”
People are always looking out for each other when the youth decide to get together at the local park or when they go and hang out at each other’s homes, he said.
“We just show up at people’s houses and say, ‘Hello,’” he said with a grin. “Or we will get a group chat together and see if anyone wants to meet up at the park.”
In his free time, Morris enjoys playing video games, shooting basketball, spending time with friends and, of course, drawing.
“My friends have recently gotten me into watching the NBA, and I like Kyrie Irving, so I like the Boston Celtics,” he said. “The Pacers are a good team, too.”
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Name: Griffin Morris
School: Medora High School
School activities: Student council, BETA Club (mathematics)
Future plans: Attend Indiana University Southeast in New Albany to study studio art
Family: Parents, Steve and Kathy Morris; brothers, Riley and Garrett
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What: Medora High School commencement
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Medora High School gymnasium
Who: 23 seniors will graduate