John Morris, who serves as a leisure activity specialist for the Dare County Parks and Recreation Department’s Northern Beach Division in Kill Devil Hills, has been named Dare County Employee of the Month for November 2023.
The award was presented to Morris by Dare County Public Services Director Spencer Gregory during the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held November 6, 2023.
Morris began his service to Dare County on March 4, 2013, when he was initially hired to work as a leisure activity coordinator for the Dare County Parks and Recreation Department’s Northern Beach Division. In December 2016, he left his position to pursue a career as a physical education teacher in Virginia before returning to Dare County and being rehired as a leisure activity specialist for the Parks and Recreation Department on May 17, 2021.
“We were thrilled to have him back where he belongs,” said Gregory. “I’m sure many of you have seen John in action on a field or in a gym somewhere over the years. Not only is John a great employee, but he is also a great coach. He has coached Special Olympics basketball, youth basketball, legion baseball and high school baseball, season after season. John is a natural recreation programmer. The kids love him, and the adults love him.”
During his Employee of the Month presentation, Gregory also commented on the wide array of sports, camps and activities that Morris is actively involved with throughout each season in his role as leisure activity specialist, which includes booking officials for all Northern Beach Division basketball games in the winter months and also stepping in to referee these games when needed.
In addition to winter basketball games, Morris is also tasked with helping to get fields ready and facilitating tee-ball, softball and baseball games in the spring; leading several youth camps throughout the summer, including the department’s fishing camp and weeklong adventure camp for local middle school-age children in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia; as well as running the Parks and Recreation Department’s football program during the fall.
Gregory also noted that Morris’ colleagues within the Parks and Recreation Department offered praise for his hard work and dedication to his duties when nominating him for the prestigious honor of being recognized as Dare County Employee of the Month.
“On his nomination form it was stated that he is a wonderful, dedicated, professional, enthusiastic, creative, empathetic jack-of-all-trades [and that] he jumps in with both feet for any task requested of him without hesitation or complaint,” said Gregory.
The nominator also highlighted the strong relationships that Morris works to form with all of the athletes he works with throughout each program that he facilitates during the year.
“He is always busy planning new activities for the youth and has been an enthusiastic supporter and volunteer with Special Olympics basketball,” his colleague wrote. “It is heartwarming to see the fond relationships between John and the athletes and how excited they are to see him. It is a highlight of my day. I cannot adequately express how important John is to our team and how much I appreciate his help and enjoy working with him. He truly deserves this recognition.”
As he concluded his November 2023 Dare County Employee of the Month presentation, Gregory commented, “John is easy to get along with, kindhearted and has a passion for the citizens of Dare, and we are lucky to have him as an employee. We love him here at Parks and Recreation. John, congratulations on your Employee of the Month—it is well deserved.”