Name of Company: Morristown Elementary School
Name:  Kate Torrey, Principal
Location, email, phone, website: 548 Park St, Morrisville, VT 05661
kate.torrey@lssuvt.org, (802) 888-3101, https://sites.google.com/a/lssuvt.org/mes/home
Description of your business/work? I am a grade K-4 principal, an instructional leader of teachers and staff, and a cheerleader for the kids.
How long have you been in this line of work? I’ve been in education- either a teacher or an administer- for over 30 years. I’ve taught college, preschool, and elementary school. I’ve been a principal for the last 7 years.
How did you move to Morristown or come to work here? I’ve lived in Johnson for 23 years. I started as a paraeducator at Johnson Elementary School and later became a teacher in Eden Elementary. I always wanted to be in education in Lamoille County and when I learned Ed Orevec was retiring, I thought this is exactly what I’ve always wanted and it’s a new adventure to come to a larger school than I’d been used to.
What do you like best about Morristown? I get a strong sense of history and commitment to community here. There’s a lot of people who’ve lived here a long time and there’s a lot of teachers here who have raised their kids in this school system. I get a strong sense of history from the entire town and I like that cohesive feeling. There’s a lot of civic events people come out for here and that’s good stuff!
What new business would you like to see move to town? I’ve always wondered why there isn’t a Payless Shoe store in town. But I’d really like to see more cultural exposure for our kids- more arts and theatre. I know there’s some but I think it’s really important for kids to appreciate it and not to have to drive to Burlington to get it.
What is on your wish list for the next five years of your business/career? Well, I want to be here at least that long. I want to finish my career here. I feel I can have some positive effect on this school. For the school, I want parents and kids to think of it has the most fun place in town. I want to see more community involvement and more adults in the building. I want this to be known as a great place for fun, engaging learning to happen, especially for this age level.
Personal background: My family is from Boston, MA and I grew up in CT and went to college in NY as a theater major. I have a master’s degree in theatre arts in acting and directing and I had a very successful career in New York City. I was very fortunate that I was able to work in theater and make money at it. It was a wonderful time. I met my husband, who is from Waterbury Center, VT, in an acting class in Manhattan. He had a television career and I had a theatre career there, but like anybody living in the city, you get burned out on that after awhile. We left all that behind in 1994. I started subbing at Johnson Elementary School, became a para-educator there, and then decided to attend Johnson State College to get my degree in Elementary Education. I began my elementary teaching career at Eden Central School in 1999.
What was your first job? I was an ice cream scooper in a dairy shop next to my high school when I was 15.
What was your most fun job? My most fun job ever was when I was working for a Greek Theatre company touring through the Long Island high schools performing Oedipus and Antigone for high school kids who had read the plays. I loved it. We also performed abridged versions of Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and King Lear for them.
Favorite quote? “Ships are not built to stay safe in their harbor.”
If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be and why? Katherine Hepburn, my favorite actress. She lived by her own rules. I would love to be able to talk to her about some of her favorite memories of her life. She was an incredibly independent and strong woman. My favorite Katherine Hepburn quote is: “If you haven’t met the man of your dreams by the time you are 28, consider yourself lucky.”
What book did you read last? Lost and Found: Helping Behaviorally Challenged Student (and, While You’re At It, All the Others) by Ross Greene.
Wild card? We need more adults volunteering at Morristown Elementary. Retired folks: come and mentor a child, read to a child. Retired teachers who miss their students: please sign up to be a substitute. There’s a wealth of people who have stories to tell these young students. I’d love to have an Adopt a Grandparent Day. We can always use mentors for kids. We need our community in this building.