Man, teacher reunite on family trip to Florida

January 15, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - Former Lincolnshire Elementary School teacher Barbara Walters-Phillips might be living in Orlando, but she likes to keep up with former students.

"One of my former fifth-grade students, Phillip Morse, has just been named (deputy) chief of the U.S. Capitol Police in Washington, D.C.," she said recently by e-mail from Florida.

The two were reunited in September when Morse, 44, and his family were in Florida for his son's baseball tournament at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

"We had a great time visiting," Walters-Phillips said in a telephone interview.

Morse, who joined the U.S. Capitol Police in 1985 with the Senate Division, was promoted to his new post in October.


He has worked in many areas of the department, including the Containment and Emergency Response Team (CERT), Patrol Mobile Response Division, Capitol Division, and Office of Professional Standards and Compliance.

While with the Dignitary Protection Division, he implemented new financial management controls for the division. He also managed security planning for the 2004 Democratic and Republican Conventions.

Upon promotion to inspector, Morse assumed command of the Capitol Division, where he was in charge of all police, security and protective operations at the Capitol Building. He led a Capitol security survey that addressed emergency procedures and protocols for prevention, response and mitigation of critical incidents.

He also developed the security plan, evacuation and emergency response for the presidential inauguration.

"I am in charge of 1,691 sworn officers and 300 civilian staff," Morse said by telephone from his Washington office.

As for his friendship with his former teacher, Morse said he believes her enthusiastic/hands-on teaching methods made him the person he is today.

"I lead by example, and Barbara was the model for me," Morse said.

The son of George and Fay Morse, Phillip Morse lived in Hagerstown from 1972 to 1979, attending Lincolnshire Elementary School, E. Russell Hicks Middle School and South Hagerstown High School.

The Morse family moved to Chantilly, Va., shortly after Phillip Morse finished his junior year at South High, he said.

He and Walters-Phillips corresponded with one another, culminating in last summer's reunion.

Walters-Phillips said she isn't surprised that her former student is successful.

"He was always a very special student. My oldest son is named after him. It has been so exciting to watch him grow up and now become the chief," Walters-Phillips said. "What an honor for him and a thrill for me, his former teacher."

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