Our View: Morton deserving of recognition
The Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama are honoring Sylacauga’s Margaret Morton with the Frances E. Couch Lifetime Achievement Award, and we applaud their choice for this year’s award.

Morton’s careers have been dedicated to helping others.

Most of her career was spent in special education. Starting in Tuscaloosa, she taught students with learning disabilities and later taught first- through eighth-grade special needs students in Sumter County. She and her husband Joe Morton, former Sylacauga City and state schools superintendent, moved to Sylacauga in 1978, where she worked as a psychometrist and later as a counselor. Morton retired from Sylacauga City Schools three years ago with 32 years in education.

She was part of a community initiative that established SAFE Family Services Center more than 15 years ago. Soon after it was started, she began serving as director while still working as a guidance counselor at Indian Valley Elementary School and eventually took over the job full time. Since its founding, SAFE has received more than $17 million in grants. It currently operates about 25 community programs and served a duplicated count of nearly 26,000 people last year alone.

SAFE — Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Inc. — was created with the belief that all families have the right to thrive. The organization has sought ways to help them do that while at the same time fostering more involvement in the community and improve quality of life and promote the safety and well being of children and families.

Morton said it is a blessing to have a job serving others, and she is grateful for the opportunities she has had to do that.

The Girl Scouts organization works to help girls learn and grow to be the best they can be. Involvement in a variety of activities and exposure to positive role models helps make that happen.

The North-Central district covers 36 counties. Two lifetime achievement awards are being given for different geographic regions, and several Women of Distinction awards are being made as well. The presentations are to be made at a fundraising luncheon in Birmingham March 8.

Awards such as these help focus attention on women who make a difference in their communities, and in a culture seemingly obsessed with entertainers and athletes, that in itself is commendable.

We applaud Morton and the Girl Scouts for all they do to help others enjoy a better quality of life.

© 2013