Certification in Guidance Counseling, Jacksonville State University, 1990.
Ed.S., The University of Alabama, 1978. Learning Disabilities with Certification in Psychological Testing.
M.A., The University of Alabama, 1973. Special Education – Learning Disabilities.
B.S., The University of Alabama, 1972. Elementary Education & Special Education.
Margaret Morton is currently the executive director of the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement Family Services Center, which she has been doing since 1998.
Margaret Morton grew up in the small town of Sylacauga, where she says she had all the support and resources she needed as a small child.
“I was fortunate that I grew up in a neighborhood where everybody knew your name,” Morton said. “I had three or four mommas and daddies who were watching out for me and supporting me and encouraging me.”
After high school, she attended The University of Alabama, where she met her husband and came to terms with the idea that she would never return to her hometown. However, in the mid-70s, that is exactly what happened. Her husband was recruited for a job in Sylacauga, and Morton became the guidance counselor at Indian Valley Elementary (1990 to 1998). In 1997, she joined a group of fellow citizens to address problems in the community.
Morton retired in 2007 from the Sylacauga City Schools. She began her career in education in 1973 as a learning disabilities specialist at East Lake Elementary School in the Jefferson County Schools in Birmingham, Alabama. She moved to Tuscaloosa and served as the learning disabilities specialist for Arcadia Elementary in the Tuscaloosa City Schools. From 1974-1977, she was a special education (EMR/TMR) teacher for Sumter County Training School. She was also an adjunct faculty member at LIvingston University (1977-1978) and supervised student teachers for UAB in the spring of 1987. From 1978-1990, she served as a psychometrist for the Sylacauga City Schools. In the mid-1990s, Morton was on the foundational team of the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, better known as SAFE. Morton originally worked as an elementary guidance counselor at Sylacauga City Schools when SAFE was just beginning to grow. She became the organization’s part-time executive director in 1998, sharing her time between SAFE and the school system. During this time, she was named the Alabama Counseling Association’s Elementary Counselor of the Year in 1995.
Morton has been recognized by her peers on multiple occasions, which shows the respect they have for the work that she has done over her lifetime. In 2021, CBS Nexstar named her Alabama’s Remarkable Woman of the Year. In 2020, under her guidance, SAFE (first ever organization so designated from Alabama ) received the Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Award Winner. Additionally, they (she and SAFE) won the Innovator of the Year by Alabama Works.
In 2016, Morton was the recipient of the inaugural the David Mathews Center for Civic Life’s Jean O’Connor-Snyder Award. Morton also received a lifetime achievement award from Alabama Chief Justice Tom Parker and the U.S. Trust at the Alabama Supreme Court. The Alabama Department of Human Resources recognized Morton for her Outstanding Commitment to the Children and Families of Alabama in 2006. In 2003, she was named Sylacauga’s Woman of Achievement Award.
Her service to the community also includes sitting on the Board of Directors for the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) and working with the St. Jude Catholic Church as Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. She is a member of the Sylacauga Literacy Council; former president of the Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers; the Governor’s Task Force on Excellence in Reading; the Alabama State Department of Education Reading Leadership Team; the Alabama State Department of Education Parental Involvement Advisory Council; the Advisory Council for Alabama’s Office of School Readiness (Office of Children’s Affairs); the Alabama’s State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care; the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; the chairman of the Complete Count Committee for Census 2000-2010; chairman of Sylacauga’s Promise – America’s Promise; Family Resource Center Subcommittee of the Governor’s Task Force to Strengthen Alabama’s Families; treasurer of the Alabama Partnership for Children Board of Directors; chair of the Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers Advisory Board; Leadership Alabama; Leadership Sylacauga; VOICES for Alabama’s Children Board of Directors; University of Alabama College of Education Board of Advisors University of Alabama Women of the Capstone; Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Birth-to-Five Committee and Home Visitation Advisory Committee; Ending Childhood Hunger Alabama Board; David Mathews Center for Civic Life Board of Directors; East Alabama Works! Board of Directors; Alabama Committee on Credentialing and Career Pathways; Alabama STEM Advisory Panel; Alabama Human Capital Advisory Panel; and Alabama Works! WIOA Board.
Margaret Morton is a selfless leader whose unwavering commitment helping others has brought about positive and continuing change for the children and families of Alabama. She has been a bright star for the College of Education and the state of Alabama.
Margaret is married to past superintendent Dr. Joe Morton who is also an inductee of the College of Education Hall of Fame. They have two sons, Matthew and Josh.