Experienced OC administrator is named IUSD’s new director of alternative education

An educator with an extensive background in alternative education has been tapped to serve as IUSD’s new director of alternative education and principal of Creekside High School, Superintendent Terry Walker announced Wednesday.

Pending board approval, Daniel Morris will take over for Mark Miller, who recently was named the district’s director of special education.

“From a pool of highly qualified candidates, Daniel emerged as the No. 1 choice with an extensive background overseeing successful continuation, independent study and adult school programs,” Walker said. “Along with a remarkable depth of knowledge, he has a passion for alternative education and is deeply committed to the long-term success of his students.”

Morris began his educational career in 1998 as a social science instructor, technology coordinator and ASB advisor at Orange Coast College’s Middle College High School. Three years later he entered the field of alternative education as an instructor at Back Bay High School, which is the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s continuation school, and Monte Vista High School, the district’s independent study program.

From 2004 to 2007, Morris worked as a counselor and assistant administrator for Back Bay and Monte Vista high schools, which share a campus. During this span, he also served as an administrator for Newport-Mesa’s adult education program.

Morris was hired as an assistant principal at Edison High School in the Huntington Beach Union High School District in 2007, and four years later he was named assistant principal of Huntington Beach Adult School, the Coast Independent Study High School and the district’s Community Day School. In 2012, he was named assistant principal at Marina High School.

Morris said Wednesday that he was eager to begin working with staff, students and parents in Irvine.

“I’m very excited to return to alternative education,” Morris said Wednesday. “I feel it’s where I can help students the most. Building programs and helping kids succeed is why I got into education.”

A resident of Orange, Daniel is married with two sons, ages 6 and 8. He holds an administrative credential from Alliant International University, a master’s degree in education from United States International University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Cal State Fullerton.