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’Relationships are everything’ for new Pine Island principal

Meet Your Administrator: Brian Morrison

Comstock Park — Brian Morrison is the new principal for Pine Island Elementary School. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Administrators. 

Students in grades 3-5 are Brian Morrison’s favorite ages to work with. That’s why he’s so excited to take on this new leadership role at Pine Island. 

“You can hang out with them and they think it’s cool. I enjoy interacting with these kids,” Morrison said. 

Morrison previously served as a high school business teacher and middle school assistant principal for Hamilton Public Schools. At this stage in his career, “it’s way less about a job and more about a fit,”  he said. He likes the family-first culture and diversity of the Comstock Park student population. 

“Relationships are everything to me,” said Morrison, who has a gregarious personality. 

Brian Morrison worked as a teacher and principal in Hamilton for 20 years

He can also relate to students who are struggling. 

“I was the stereotypical good kid through 12th grade,” said Morrison, who hails from Hartland in southeast Michigan. He got good grades, played sports and caused little trouble for his parents. 

However, his college years were a different story.

“I had a tough time in college and made bad decisions,” Morrison said. With no rules or restrictions, he didn’t handle the transition to adulthood very well. He started college at Albion and then transferred to Michigan State University before eventually graduating from Central Michigan University.

That experience helps Morrison remember that there are often a lot of other things going on in students’ lives that affect what they are doing in school. He is passionate about leadership and knows part of leading is listening to students and finding compromise. 

“I love teaching kids life lessons,” he said. 

Read on to learn some other fast facts about Morrison:

Education/degrees: He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in business and technology from Western Michigan University. 

Jobs outside of education: To help pay for college, Morrison worked as a landscaper and a bartender. 

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… “They have opinions too, and it’s important to them that we listen to them just as we listen to adults,” he said. “Allow them to have a voice.”

Hobbies/interests: He enjoys bass fishing and playing guitar.

If you could go back to school, which grade would you return to? “Elementary school (third – fifth grade)…(because) girls aren’t a thing, everybody gets along and all we do is play. There’s not a lot of pressures of other grades.”

Family life: Morrison currently lives in Hamilton with his wife, Kristen, and sons Bryce (eighth grade) and Chase (sixth grade). Both sons are wrestlers, which makes wrestling a huge part of their lives. Kristen is an occupational therapist in Grand Rapids. They are considering moving to the Comstock Park area.

Brian Morrison with wife Kristen and sons Bryce and Chase (courtesy)
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Karen Gentry
Karen Gentry covers Comstock Park. She is from Evansville, Indiana and St. Joseph, Mich. and a graduate of Lake Michigan Catholic High School and Central Michigan University. She moved to the Grand Rapids area in the mid-1980s and has been a resident of Comstock Park since 2002. She understands the complexity, rewards and challenges of the teaching profession as she has five years of experience as a high school teacher at River Valley High School in Three Oaks, Mich. and St. Stephen High School in Saginaw. As a reporter for the Advance Newspapers and Mlive she covered Sparta, Kent City and Northview schools. She is happy to be reunited with some of her journalism colleagues and writing about Comstock Park Public Schools for the School News Network. Read Karen's full bio

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