Meet Sheril Morgan
CAREER: School counseling.
EDUCATION: Masters in education counseling, Northeastern State University, 2010.
FAMILY: Husband Bubby of 14 years and three sons, Kort, 13; Dylan, 11; and Taylor, 9 months.
CHURCH: Christ Church.
HOBBIES: Learning new things, reading, baseball and racing.
After five years in her dream job, Sheril Morgan had a calling to do more.
Morgan was teaching sixth grade at Whittier Elementary, where she was named the school’s teacher of the year.
But then she decided to go back to school and get a degree in counseling.
“It’s hard to teach reading, English and math to some students when they don’t know where their next meal will come from or if they’ll get hurt when they get home,” Morgan said. “Unfortunately, it was quite frequent.”
So, Morgan stepped down from teaching to go back to school. During that time, she became more involved in the Muskogee Youth Coalition, the Muskogee Community Anti-Drug Network and the Character Council of Muskogee.
She said she got into prevention with Lindsey Roberts, a program director/prevention specialist with CAN.
Morgan finished her master’s degree at Northeastern State University in 2010 and now works as a prevention specialist at Muskogee High School, where she serves as the sponsor of the student group 2much2lose, a student-led drugs and alcohol resistance club at MHS.
She also serves as vice chairwoman of CAN, is the co-coordinator for the State School of Character and Oklahoma Youth to Youth coordinator.
The most rewarding part of Sheril Morgan’s job is when students who, at one point thought there was no hope, go on to succeed. Successful students are what keep her going, Morgan said.
“A lot of my kids have become like family,” Morgan said.
Morgan, a prevention specialist at Muskogee High School, reels former students off like a proud parent.
“There was one young man who I taught in sixth grade, and I was fortunate to help him in middle school and high school. He became like ours. He’s going to go to college out of state. He’s enrolled and got a scholarship and will go there this fall.
“There was a young man who graduated last year who came from a tough family. He came from a pretty hard place. At a Youth to Youth state conference, he said, ‘This is the only place I ever felt like I could be myself.’ He’s in college now and doing great. I’m so proud of him.
“Another one texted me just the other day: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad. I love you and miss you.’”
Queen of the castle
Morgan and her husband, Bubby, have been married 14 years. They have three sons. She lives in a house bursting with testosterone.
And the former tomboy wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think God knew exactly what he was doing,” Morgan said. “I get to be the queen, and I like it that way.”
The Morgans met when Sheril locked her keys in her truck 15 years ago. Bubby unlocked her truck.
“He didn’t charge anything because he thought I was cute,” Sheril said. “Later on, I locked my keys in my truck on purpose so I had an excuse to call him.”
They dated less than a year before marrying.
“I just knew he was the one,” Sheril said.
She’s always been a fan of sports and fell in love with baseball after attending a Texas Rangers game. So she loves summer, especially since two of her children play baseball.
“I went down there and fell in love with it — the sights, the sounds, the smell, everything,” Morgan said. “And now my boys play, and they are good at baseball. They play everything, but they’re probably best at baseball.”
Morgan was a driving force behind MHS being named a National School of Character, said Madison Tomlinson, Muskogee Public Schools director of Leadership and Character Development.
“In many ways, she is the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman,” Tomlinson said. “She has the ability to connect with people of all ages — elementary, high school and adults — at a very personal level. She is the type of employee who would make any organization better.”
Tomlinson said Morgan has an unending passion and is a great “vision caster.”
“She has the ability to cast visually that other people can catch, which is pretty rare,” Tomlinson said. “One thing that is unique is she is able to communicate that vision in such a way that the group she’s presenting it to will think it’s their idea.”
Morgan said she’s always had a passion for character.
“It’s an integral part of us. It’s the center part of every decision we make,” Morgan said. “When decisions are wrong, it leads down a path that affects not just that person, but their family and friends.
“The only way to do systematic change is to change the culture in which we live, and that starts with character.”
Q & A
How did you come to be an Okie from Muskogee?
“I was born here, live here and work here.”
What do you do with your free time?
“Usually traveling with a baseball team (go Stampede and go Cardinals!), taking care of Taylor and volunteering at the church.”
How do you make a living in Muskogee?
“I’ve worked for Muskogee Public Schools for nine years and presently am a prevention specialist at Muskogee High School.”
What would make Muskogee a better place to live?
“If we saw how everything happened to us affected our neighbors and that when I hurt, you hurt and when you hurt, I hurt, and we all spent time encouraging one another and loving one another, that would be perfect.”
Is there an Okie from Muskogee who you admire?
“Madison Tomlinson (Muskogee Public Schools director of Leadership and Character Development). I call him Character Yoda.”
What’s the most memorable thing that has happened to you since you have lived in Muskogee?
“My son Taylor was born deaf, and we went through six grueling weeks of testing and were referred to a surgeon for cochlear implants. It took a lot of people and a whole lot of prayer. I believed God could do a miracle. When we took him to the doctor, I felt an overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit. I knew God had healed him. He now has perfect hearing and he is talking and babbling and doing everything a 9-month-old should.”
How would you sum up Muskogee in 25 words or less?
“Muskogee is an amazing place to raise children, play in your free time, and live fully, freely and blessed.”